Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

claw

2 verb
     
claw2 [intransitive and transitive]
1 to tear or pull at something, using claws or your fingers
claw at
The cat keeps clawing at the rug.
2

claw your way

to try very hard to reach a place or position, using a lot of effort and determination
claw your way up/along/back etc
He clawed his way forward inch by inch.
Benson clawed his way back into the lead.

claw something ↔ back

phrasal verb
1 to get back something that you had lost, by trying very hard:
The company has managed to claw back its share of the market.
2 British English if a government or organization claws back money it has given to people, it takes it back

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