爪 means 'claw'

Animation / stroke order not available.
Strokes : 4    Radical number: 87    Frequency: 1796   JLPT: N1    Usefulness: 5    Challenge set: 14    Grade: 8   Intermediate lesson: -    Beginner lesson: -   Begins 40 words   Used in 63 words   Used in 127 names   Component in 8 kanji (2 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 . In mnemonics we often use it a verb, ie 'to claw (in)'.
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.
This is a synopsis of Joy o' Kanji's in-depth essay on 爪
Essay 2071 on 爪 (nail, claw; "claw" radical) covers this prevalent shape, which serves as the on-duty radical in (1344: rank of nobility) and as a component in (483: 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)
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)
つま- (read as つま) : 15 words FIND ALL
to strum; to pluck the strings (of a guitar)
つめ (read as づめ) : 11 words FIND ALL
Henshall: Joy o' Kanji : 2071  Key to Kanji:

Cascading kanji view

つめ    つま- claw; fingernail   
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Search results include information from a variety of sources, including Kanshudo (kanji mnemonics, kanji readings, kanji components, vocab and name frequency data, grammar points), JMdict (vocabulary), Tatoeba (examples), Enamdict (names), KanjiVG (kanji animations and stroke order), and Joy o' Kanji (kanji and radical synopses). Translations provided by Google's Neural Machine Translation engine. For more information see credits.
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