Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



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 terms[edit]



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 French[edit]


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

  1. reputation