1) to make a demand for money, for property, or for enforcement of a right provided by law. 2) the making of a demand (asserting a claim) for money due, for property, from damages or for enforcement of a right. if such a demand is not honored, it may result in a lawsuit. in order to enforce a right against a government agency (ranging for damages from a negligent bus driver to a shortage in payroll) a claim must be filed first. if rejected or ignored by the government, it is lawsuit time.