claw

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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

get your claws into

enter into a possessive relationship with someone (used especially of a woman who dominates or manipulates a man). informal
See also: claw, get

red in tooth and claw

involving savage or merciless conflict or competition.
This phrase originated as a quotation from Tennyson's ‘In Memoriam’ ( 1850 ): ‘Nature, red in tooth and claw’.
1998 Spectator Life is sharper on the shop floor, too; and for small business it is red in tooth and claw.
See also: and, claw, red, tooth

claw your way back, into something, out of something, etc.

gradually achieve something or move somewhere by using a lot of determination and effort: She clawed her way to the top of her profession.Slowly, he clawed his way out from under the collapsed building.
See also: claw, of, out, way

get your ˈclaws into somebody


1 (disapproving) if a woman gets her claws into a man, she tries hard to make him marry her or to have a relationship with her: He was perfectly happy before she got her claws into him!
2 criticize somebody severely: Wait until the media gets its claws into her.
Claws are the sharp curved nails on the end of an animal’s or a bird’s foot.
See also: claw, get, somebody

red in ˌtooth and ˈclaw

involving opposition or competition that is violent and without pity: nature, red in tooth and claw
See also: and, claw, red, tooth
References in periodicals archive ?
But Vogel told Westminster magistrates court she had no idea selling antique big-cat claws was illegal.
Incisions on strung claws developed polished edges from rubbing against the string, the researchers say.
Every cat is different and there is no set time for when their claws should be trimmed, so approach the task calmly and understand that you may not trim all of her claws at one time and may need a second or even third sitting.
Two current fishery regulations initiated during the 1970s in Florida may be particularly problematic for stone crabs: first, allowing the removal of both claws (Muller et al.
Commercial crabbers take only the claws and return the crabs to the water, where they grow replacements.
The researchers examined the role of a pair of claws at the tip of the gonopodium of the male guppy (Poecilia reticulata) - essentially the fish's penis.
Scientists say the "cave robber" - which lurks in caves swinging on strands of silk snapping up prey with its oversized claws - is so significant it's been given its own family name of Trogloraptoridae.
I realize the rifle's original scope attachments were hand fitted and permanently attached to the one matching scope, but I do believe if I had a set of claw bases that made for a level base, then I could adapt the rest.
The council's Valleys Area Committee agreed to invest in the ice claws for older people in the Golcar ward.
Now a Yarmouth, Maine resident, Woods believes that the Maine Red Claws organization is more than a great sports team -- but also a powerful engine for community impact and spirit.
We love being able to offer stone crab claws as part of our shellfish menu.
Crabs, like other crustaceans, are capable of re-growing limbs and claws if they lose or damage them in a fight.
The policy will also allow MET to control the utilisation of the plant to ensure sustainable harvesting methods are used, collect information to facilitate trade in devil claws products and to promote value addition in Namibia as the biggest devil's claw exporter in Africa.
Usually, trapped lobsters detach their claws when they feel in danger, but this big fella decided to hang around.
8ft; CLAWS FOR CELEBRATION: Markus with his discovery