claw

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Related to clawing: clawing back

get (one's) claws out

1. Literally, of an animal, to prepare for an attack or for defense by protracting or displaying its claws. I hate my neighbor's cat, it always gets its claws out when I go near it.
2. By extension, to become particularly aggressive, especially in preparation for a confrontation. (Most often said of a woman.) Jenny had her claws out after she found out Mary had been spreading rumors about her in school.
See also: claw, get, out

cat's claw

An herb with medicinal properties commonly found in South America and Asia. A: "I'm really not feeling well today." B: "Let me make you a remedy with cat's claw and some other herbs."
See also: claw

claw me, claw thee

Help me, and I'll help you. A phrase used to describe a reciprocal relationship. After how much you helped me with the budget, of course I'll work with you to finish the project! Claw me, claw thee!
See also: claw, thee

get (one's) claws into

To exert one's influence over another person. Bobby's new girlfriend must have gotten her claws into him—have you seen the way he's dressing these days?
See also: claw, get

claw off

To rip or tear something off of someone or something else. A noun or pronoun can be used between "claw" and "off." Unfortunately for me, my puppy just loves clawing the upholstery off my couch.
See also: claw, off

claw (one's) way (somewhere)

To physically exert oneself to reach a particular destination. We had to claw our way through dense brush to reach the river.
See also: claw, way

claw (one's) way to the top

To reach the highest level of something through unscrupulous methods. She clawed her way to the top, sabotaging everyone in her path—I see no honor in that.
See also: claw, top, way

claw (one's) way back from (something)

To work hard to regain something after a significant loss or setback. He'll have to claw his way back from that serious injury if he wants to be our starting quarterback next season.
See also: back, claw, way

fight tooth and claw

To fight, battle, or compete with great ferocity, vigor, and intensity. I know my brother has fought tooth and claw to be re-elected, so his victory tonight is certainly well earned. These elite troops have been selected by the royal palace to fight tooth and claw against any possible invaders.
See also: and, claw, fight, tooth

claw one's way to the top

Fig. to climb to the most prestigious level of something ruthlessly. He was the type of hard-hitting guy who claws his way to the top. She clawed her way to the top, fighting at every step.
See also: claw, top, way

claw something off someone or something

 and claw something off
to rip or tear something off from someone or something. We saw a guy clawing his burning clothes off himself. He clawed off his burning clothes.
See also: claw, off

one's claws are showing

one is acting catty; one is saying spiteful and cruel things. Gloria: Did you see what she was wearing? I wouldn't be caught dead in it! Sally: Gloria, my dear, your claws are showing.
See also: claw, showing

get your claws into someone

1. If someone gets their claws into you, they control or influence you in a selfish way for their own advantage. The Tigers want to get their claws into 20-year old striker Martin Carruthers from Aston Villa. Note: Other verbs can be used instead of get. These people had their claws into him and he didn't know how to get clear of them.
2. If a woman gets her claws into a man, she manages to start a relationship with him. Sadly for Jackie, Amanda got her claws into Gavin first. Note: Other verbs can be used instead of get. She wasted no time in hooking her claws into Des. Note: You usually use this expression in a disapproving way.
See also: claw, get

red in tooth and claw

LITERARY
If you describe a person, organization or activity as red in tooth and claw, you mean that they involve very competitive and sometimes cruel behaviour. My wife and I both now work for companies that are red in tooth and claw. He wanted to demonstrate that Labour is no longer red in tooth and claw, but a serious political party. Note: People talk about `nature red in tooth and claw' to describe the cruel way that wild creatures hunt and kill each other for food. This is a quotation from the poem `In Memoriam' (1850) by the English poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. (Part 56, stanza 4)
See also: and, claw, red, tooth
References in classic literature ?
there are some folk who have no fear of Domesday in them, and no sign of grace in their souls, for ever clutching and clawing at another man's chattels.
The impetuosity of this act and the weight and momentum of his body carried the bull backward, clutching and clawing for support, down through the leafy branches of the tree.
Over and over upon the grass rolled Sheeta, growling and screaming, clawing and biting, in a mad effort to dislodge his antagonist or get some portion of his body within range of teeth or talons.
Seven days after that 2-1 triumph at Chicago gave Chivas its first victory away from HDC this season, featured a late winning goal to reverse a trend of losing points after allowing late scores, and interrupted a 1-1-8 stretch, it was right back to clawing for points.
Some would argue that clawing back part of the National Child Benefit from parents on welfare creates an incentive to work.
BENEFITS Minister Alistair Darling came under renewed fire last night for clawing back money from the miners.
He keeps clawing at the sofa and everything else in his vicinity and most recently even my pants.
Clawing, barking, squawking and meowing are all part of the usual holiday routine for the Canyon Country resident, who poses for photos with people's pets each December to raise money for the Pet Assistance Foundation.
And when he wasn't clawing, the 2- to 4-year-old dog was clinging to a ledge or treading water.