1. phrasal verb
If someone claws back some of the money or power they had lost, they get some of it back again. [British]
[V P n] ⇒ They will eventually be able to claw back all or most of the debt.
[V P n (not pron)] ⇒ In the meantime his generals will want to claw back some of their old influence. [Also V n P]
2. phrasal verb → claw If a government claws back money, it finds a way of taking money back from people that it gave money to in another way. [British]
[V P n] ⇒ The Chancellor will try to claw back £3.5 billion in next year's Budget. [Also V n P]
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers