Definition of claim in English:

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Pronunciation: /kleɪm/


1 [reporting verb] State or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof: [with clause]: the Prime Minister claimed that he was concerned about Third World debt [with direct speech]: ‘I’m entitled to be conceited,’ he claimed [with object]: not every employee is eligible to claim unfair dismissal
More example sentences
  • The developers and some anthropologists claimed that the evidence on which protection had been granted was fabricated.
  • Mrs May claimed that evidence from the blonde-haired victim, who had had a baby since her ordeal, was unreliable.
  • The plaintiff claimed that there is evidence to show what her current needs are.
assert, declare, profess, maintain, state, hold, affirm, avow, aver, protest, insist, swear, attest;
argue, contend, submit, move;
informal make out
archaic avouch
1.1 [with object] Assert that one has gained or achieved (something): his supporters claimed victory in the presidential elections
More example sentences
  • It set out do something, only to achieve nothing and then claim a victory.
  • The UK government is claiming some kind of victory out of a Common Fisheries Policy negotiations which everyone, in the cold light of dawn, admits is the management of extinction by committee.
  • His supporters, having claimed victory, were celebrating in the streets Thursday night.
2 [with object] Formally request or demand; say that one owns or has earned (something): if no one claims the items, they will become Crown property
More example sentences
  • If he does, tradition demands that he can claim a seat on the Treasury bench.
  • She remained the moving spirit behind the scenes for a long time after she stopped claiming any formal roles or titles.
  • Some householders then claim compensation from the council, and the council demands the builder repays that compensation.
lay claim to, say that one owns, assert ownership of, formally request;
2.1 [with object] Make a demand for (money) under the terms of an insurance policy: [no object]: the premiums are reduced by fifty per cent if you don’t claim on the policy
More example sentences
  • She was also accused of faking three burglaries to claim insurance money.
  • If it ever breaks down, call your local computer geek, or set fire to it and claim the insurance money!
  • What a tragedy it would be to be burgled and not have time to claim on your insurance policy.
request, ask for, apply for, put in for, put in an application for;
demand, exact
2.2Call for (someone’s notice and thought): a most unwelcome event claimed his attention
More example sentences
  • Then Jonas seemed to shake himself out of whatever thoughts had claimed him.
3Cause the loss of (someone’s life): the attacks claimed the lives of five people
More example sentences
  • She was subjected to a sustained knife attack which almost claimed her life when she stopped her car and went to help another woman who was being attacked.
  • The findings are the result of a three-year study into the terrorist attack that claimed the lives of 2,749 people.
  • A massive car bomb attack has claimed the life of another prominent critic of Syria.
cause/result in the loss of


1An assertion that something is true: [with clause]: he was dogged by the claim that he had CIA links
More example sentences
  • The claim that professors at the leading law schools tilt to the left is supported by statistics.
  • But critics say the claim that the 87,000 who've left are doing well rests on shaky evidence.
  • Do you think there is any substance, then, to his claim that his own warnings went ignored?
1.1 (also statement of claim) A statement of the novel features in a patent: the two patents based on his claims will be reconfirmed
More example sentences
  • This does not mean, however, that a simple allegation of a novel claim may pass judicial scrutiny.
  • I have also underlined those features of the claim which are relied on for the allegation of infringement.
  • The specification continues with a commentary upon the characterizing feature of the claim.
2A demand or request for something considered one’s due: the court had denied their claims to asylum
More example sentences
  • After the Portuguese, it was the Germans, the British and the French who laid claims to some part of the country.
  • The flag of Canada, were a real energy and price crisis to develop in America, would hardly hamper their claims to our resources.
  • Tullow will not put too much store in this victory, but will rather wait for a stiffer examination of their claims to the town's silver.
demand, petition, call
2.1An application for compensation under the terms of an insurance policy: he should make a claim on his house insurance for storm damage
More example sentences
  • Death and disability claims on insurance policies are being subjected to more intense scrutiny than was the case ten years ago.
  • If you think you do have a case, you should act on any shortfall before you file a claim for compensation.
  • In your particular case the airline is within its rights to reject your compensation claim.
2.2A right or title to something: they have first claim on the assets of the trust
More example sentences
  • Because the city is the first creditor, they have the first claim on the property.
  • The Baroness had agreed in a marriage settlement to renounce her claim on the trust.
  • Such a child might use the courts, for example, to establish a claim on inheritance or support.
2.3A piece of land allotted to or taken by someone in order to be mined: each of them was to be rewarded with a farm and a number of mining claims in the land
More example sentences
  • The area no longer has any active mines, but there are large tracts of land under claim for placer mining.
  • The mining claims or other mining related interest may be affected by the action.
  • As a result Chinese were driven off gold mining claims by white miners who had no fear of being arrested.


claim to fame

A reason for being regarded as unusual or noteworthy: the town’s only claim to fame is that it is the birthplace of Elgar
More example sentences
  • Renowned for its wide main street, this average-sized rural town in the heart of mid-Ulster has few particular claims to fame, as its web site freely admits.
  • Chrysorrogiatissa has two claims to fame: the icon of the Virgin, in its massive silver-gilt frame, is reputed to offer succour to criminals; and its vineyards produce one of the best Cypriot wines.
  • One of the claims to fame at Royal St George's is that it was recast as Royal St Mark's by Ian Fleming, and used as the setting for James Bond's epic match in Goldfinger.

Phrasal verbs

claim something back

Ask for money that one has paid to be returned in accordance with the law or one’s rights: you may be able to claim something back from the taxman
More example sentences
  • At the centre of the challenge is a cap on the amount acquitted defendants can claim back.
  • Hedge funds are taking advantage of human rights legislation in a bid to claim money back from the Government.
  • He is now looking at halving depreciation rates on rental property investments - the amount they can claim back.



Pronunciation: /ˈkleɪməb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Remember there will be a restriction on the amount claimable if there is any non-business use.
  • The maximum BES relief claimable by an individual in a tax year is £25,000 (£50,000 in the case of a married couple assessed jointly).
  • The maximum amount of claimable tax relief will be reduced from £5,000 to £3,700 for the short tax year.


Middle English: from Old French claime (noun), clamer (verb), from Latin clamare 'call out'.

  • Latin clamare ‘to call out’ is the base of English claim. It also gives us acclaim (early 17th century) from ad- ‘to’ and clamare ‘to shout’, and reclaim (Middle English). This was first used as a falconry term in the sense ‘recall’. The sense ‘make land suitable for cultivation’ is recorded from the mid 18th century. Clamour (Late Middle English) comes from the same source.

Words that rhyme with claim

acclaim, aflame, aim, became, blame, came, dame, exclaim, fame, flame, frame, game, lame, maim, misname, name, proclaim, same, shame, tame

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: claim

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