Pronunciation: (klô),[key] —n. 1. a sharp, usually curved, nail on the foot of an animal, as on a cat, dog, or bird.
2. a similar curved process at the end of the leg of an insect.
3. the pincerlike extremity of specific limbs of certain arthropods: lobster claws. 4. any part or thing resembling a claw, as the cleft end of the head of a hammer.
5. Typography.the hooklike projection from the right side of an r or from the bowl of a g. 6. (in a motion-picture mechanism) a device having one or two teeth that hook into the perforations of a length of film and move it one frame at a time at any given speed.
7. Jewelry.one of a group of slender, tapering metal projections rising from the base of a jewelry setting, used to hold a transparent or faceted gemstone in position. Cf. prong (def. 4).
—v.t. 1. to tear, scratch, seize, pull, etc., with or as if with claws: The kitten clawed my sweater to shreds. 2. to make by or as if by scratching, digging, etc., with hands or claws: to claw a hole in the earth. 3. to proceed by or as if by using the hands: He clawed his way through the crowd.
—v.i. 1. to scratch, tear, or dig with or as if with claws: The cat clawed and hissed in fear. 2. to make fumbling motions: He clawed at the door. She clawed for the light switch. 3. Scot.to scratch gently, as to relieve itching.