tr.v. re·claimed, re·claim·ing, re·claims
1. To resume possession of; take back: reclaimed our luggage; reclaimed the heavyweight boxing title.
2. Chiefly British To legally request what is due: reclaimed the tax that is owed.
3. To require or deserve again: The movie reclaimed my attention.
4. To bring into or return to a suitable condition for use, as cultivation or habitation: reclaim marshlands; reclaim strip-mined land.
5. To procure (usable substances) from refuse or waste products; recycle.
6. To bring back, as from error, to a right or proper course; reform. See Synonyms at save1.
7. To use or reinterpret (a historically derogatory name or term) in a positive way, as in pride for one's social group.
8. To tame (a falcon, for example).
Restoration to a previous or reformed state: a life beyond reclaim.
[Middle English reclamen, to call back, from Old French reclamer, to entreat, from Latin reclāmāre : re-, re- + clāmāre, to cry out; see kelə-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
re·claimant, re·claimer n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.