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Borrowed from Anglo-Norman reclamer (noun reclaim), Middle French reclamer (noun reclaim), from Latin reclāmō, reclāmāre.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ɹɪˈkleɪm/, /ɹiːˈkleɪm/, /ˈɹiːkleɪm/
  • Rhymes: -eɪm


reclaim (third-person singular simple present reclaims, present participle reclaiming, simple past and past participle reclaimed)

  1. (transitive) To return land to a suitable condition for use.
  2. (transitive) To obtain useful products from waste; to recycle.
  3. (transitive) To claim something back; to repossess.
  4. (transitive, dated) To return someone to a proper course of action, or correct an error; to reform.
    • Milton
      They, hardened more by what might most reclaim, / Grieving to see his glory [] took envy.
    • Rogers
      It is the intention of Providence, in all the various expressions of his goodness, to reclaim mankind.
    • Sir E. Hoby
      Your error, in time reclaimed, will be venial.
  5. (transitive, archaic) To tame or domesticate a wild animal.
    • Dryden
      an eagle well reclaimed
  6. (transitive, archaic) To call back from flight or disorderly action; to call to, for the purpose of subduing or quieting.
    • Dryden
      The headstrong horses hurried Octavius [] along, and were deaf to his reclaiming them.
  7. (transitive, archaic) To cry out in opposition or contradiction; to exclaim against anything; to contradict; to take exceptions.
    • Waterland
      Scripture reclaims, and the whole Catholic church reclaims, and Christian ears would not hear it.
    • Bain
      At a later period Grote reclaimed strongly against Mill's setting Whately above Hamilton.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Fuller to this entry?)
  8. (obsolete, rare) To draw back; to give way.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Edmund Spenser to this entry?)
  9. (intransitive, law, Scotland) To appeal from the Lord Ordinary to the inner house of the Court of Session.

Related termsEdit



reclaim (plural reclaims)

  1. (obsolete, falconry) The calling back of a hawk.
  2. (obsolete) The bringing back or recalling of a person; the fetching of someone back.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.x:
      The louing couple need no reskew feare, / But leasure had, and libertie to frame / Their purpost flight, free from all mens reclame [...].
  3. An effort to take something back, to reclaim something.


Old FrenchEdit


reclaim m (oblique plural reclains, nominative singular reclains, nominative plural reclaim)

  1. reputation


  • English: reclaim