爪 means 'claw'

Animation / stroke order not available.
Strokes : 4    Radical number: 87    Frequency: 1796   JLPT: N1    Usefulness: 5    Study set: 5-32    Grade: 8   Intermediate lesson: -    Beginner lesson: -   Begins 41 words   Used in 63 words   Used in 127 names   Component in 29 kanji (3 Jōyō)
Jōyō (常用)
   つめ   つま- claw; fingernail
On    ソウ
爪 is more common as a component than on its own, usually in the form (claw). In mnemonics we often use it a verb, ie 'to claw (in)'.
A Joy o' Kanji essay is available for 爪 - click the badge to download
Delving into the 爪 kanji introduces you to rich idiomatic expressions about a wide range of things: following in people's footsteps, not showing off, preparing to defeat opponents, saving money (sometimes to extremes), and bearing scars after traumas. This new addition to the Joyo set is a prevalent radical that's useful to know, but the variants can be hard to recognize unless you've learned what they are.
Essay 2071 on 爪 (nail, claw; "claw" radical) covers this prevalent shape, which serves as the on-duty radical in (baron) and as a component in (vegetable), to name just two examples of places you wouldn't expect to see claws!
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In the most useful 10,000 words in Japanese, 爪 is used 2 times, read 2 ways.
Across all words in Japanese, 爪 is used 62 times, read 3 ways (with 1 variation).
ソウ : 5 words FIND ALL
1. claws and fangs; claws and tusks
2. clutches; devious design; means of causing harm; weapon
(click the word to view an additional 2 meanings, examples and links)
つめ : 31 words FIND ALL
1. nail (e.g. fingernail, toenail); claw; talon; hoof
2. plectrum; pick
(click the word to view an additional 1 meaning, useful expressions, examples and links)
つま- (read as つま) : 15 words FIND ALL
(click the word to view an additional 2 forms, examples and links)
つめ (read as づめ) : 11 words FIND ALL
nail (e.g. fingernail, toenail)  (see also: 鉤爪)
(click the word to view an additional 1 form, examples and links)
An additional 瓜 less common words include 爪 but the reading has not yet been categorized.
Henshall: Joy o' Kanji : 2071  Key to Kanji:

Cascading kanji view

つめ    つま- claw; fingernail   
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