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From Middle English claimen, borrowed from Old French clamer (to call, name, send for), from Latin clāmō, clāmāre (to call, cry out), from Proto-Indo-European *kele- (to shout), which is imitative; see also Lithuanian kalba (language), Old English hlōwan (to low, make a noise like a cow), Old High German halan (to call), Ancient Greek καλέω (kaléō, to call, convoke), κλεδον (kledon, report, fame), κέλαδος (kélados, noise), Middle Irish cailech (cock), Latin calō (to call out, announce solemnly), Sanskrit उषःकल (uṣaḥkala, cock, literally dawn-calling). Cognate with Spanish llamar and clamar.


  • IPA(key): /kleɪm/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -eɪm


claim (plural claims)

  1. A demand of ownership made for something (e.g. claim ownership, claim victory).
  2. A new statement of something one believes to be the truth, usually when the statement has yet to be verified or without valid evidence provided.
  3. A demand of ownership for previously unowned land (e.g. in the gold rush, oil rush)
  4. (law) A legal demand for compensation or damages.

Usage notesEdit




claim (third-person singular simple present claims, present participle claiming, simple past and past participle claimed)

  1. To demand ownership of.
  2. To state a new fact, typically without providing evidence to prove it is true.
  3. To demand ownership or right to use for land.
  4. (law) To demand compensation or damages through the courts.
  5. (intransitive) To be entitled to anything; to deduce a right or title; to have a claim.
    • John Locke
      We must know how the first ruler, from whom anyone claims, came by his authority.
  6. (archaic) To proclaim.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
  7. (archaic) To call or name.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

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