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A sharp, slender, usually curved nail on the toe of an animal.
[L. clavus, a nail]


(klaw) a nail of an animal, particularly a carnivore, that is long and curved and has a sharp end.
cat's claw  a woody South American vine, Uncaria tomentosa or a preparation of its root bark, which has antiviral, immunostimulant, and antiinflammatory properties and is used in folk medicine.
devil's claw  a perennial herb, Harpagophytum procumbens, whose dried tubular secondary roots and lateral tubers are used for dyspepsia, loss of appetite, and rheumatism; also used in homeopathy for rheumatism and in folk medicine.


1. A sharp, curved, horny structure at the end of a toe of a vertebrate animal.
a. A chela or similar pincerlike structure on the end of a limb of a crustacean or arachnid.
b. One of one or more small curved structures at the tip of an appendage of an invertebrate, especially an insect or other arthropod.
c. A limb terminating in such a structure.
tr. & intr.v. clawed, clawing, claws
To scratch, dig, tear, or pull with the claws or fingernails.

clawed adj.


1. integumentary appendages at the extremities of the digits of carnivores and some other animals. Because of their sharp ends they are effective in their role of holding and tearing prey. They are sheathed by the action of elastic ligaments unless the flexor muscles are tensed, but can be actively retracted in Felidae, except the cheetah.
2. an alternative name for a digit in cloven-footed animals such as cattle, sheep, goats and pigs.
3. metal manifold in a milking machine cluster which connects the teat cups and the milk line; carries the air admission hole which allows the controlled entry of air from the environment to the vacuum unit of the milking machine.

claw amputation
a surgical procedure that removes one digit of cattle, usually as a salvage procedure in septic pedal arthritis.
dew claw
see dewclaw.
claw fold
the skin fold covering the base of the nail in dogs and cats.
claw fracture
fractures of the third phalanx in cattle occur uncommonly, usually due to trauma, nutritional disease and penetrating wounds.
ingrown claw
likely to develop in Felidae denied the opportunity to rake with their claws, and in Canidae, especially dewclaws.
overgrown claw
common in old inactive birds. Causes difficulty in moving.

Patient discussion about claw

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References in periodicals archive ?
This is consistent with the clawless crab-feeding habits observed in this study.
In the case of crustacean fishers, if the narrow meaning were adopted, fishers who invested in clawless lobster fishing, in reliance on the broad English version, would be surprised and might suffer economic loss as a result of their reliance.
Yesterday `Tiger Tim' was `Tabby Tim', a toothless, clawless, at times clueless imitation of the man his army of fans hoped and prayed could become the first British man to win the singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.
Tiger Tim' was 'Tabby Tim', a toothless, clawless, at times clueless imitation of the man his army of fans hoped and prayed could become the first British man to win the singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.
Asked about the one-eyed, clawless parrot from Wick, he said: "It must have been injured in transit.
Sauropods were ungainly, clawless, and lacked meat-ripping teeth.
For those with simplistic tastes and a dish that every savvy hotel chef should offer, Falesitch crafts a gratifying plate of half a clawless Maine lobster with a peppered petit filet mignon ($31).
Even though a Parliament without those powers would be a toothless, clawless, Scottish Lion.
The tracks were clawless, wider than they were long, and the walking and running strides averaged nearly four feet.
The Black Cats may be clawless just now, a lack of confidence imbuing in them anxiety in the penalty box, which has forced a plethora of opportunities to be eschewed, they have at least salvaged compensation in the shape of defensive resolve.