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1British Regain a lost advantage or position laboriously and gradually:‘a hostile majority were committed to clawing back power from the president’
retrieve, get back, win back, take back, recoup, reclaim, repossess, recapture, retake, redeemView synonyms
- ‘Within three minutes he had clawed another point back in a fine individual move.’
- ‘During his time as editor, it consistently won its ratings battle, clawing back ground which had been lost to its great rival over a long period.’
- ‘Point by point they clawed back the deficit and at last drew level with two minutes to go.’
- ‘However the Wildcats gradually clawed it back and, in the end, it was the superior experience and craft of the Wildcats girls that proved to be the vital difference.’
- ‘We owed £30,000 to the record company for years, but we've finally clawed it back.’
2(of a government) recover money paid out in the form of an allowance or benefit, typically by taxation:‘the government is trying to claw back the pay rises extracted by workers since deregulation of food prices’
- ‘The silence from high-street tills could prove deafening as that cash is clawed back.’
- ‘Tax cuts can be clawed back, but spending can't so easily.’
- ‘But again this will be clawed back sharply for all but the lowest earners.’
- ‘Councillors are now demanding to know why the massive overpayments of housing and council tax benefits have occurred and why only a third of the money has been clawed back by the council.’
- ‘The government had promised the lump sum would never push an individual into a higher tax bracket, which could result in 40% of the payment being clawed back.’
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