Ku Klux Klan


ˈkü-ˈkləks-ˈklan How to pronounce Ku Klux Klan (audio)
 also  ˈkyü-,
 or  ˈklü-
: a violent secret fraternal society founded in 1915 in Georgia to maintain white Protestant cultural and political power
also : any one of more than 20 hate (see hate entry 1 sense 1c) groups that associate themselves with the Ku Klux Klan
: a violent post-Civil War secret society founded in Tennessee in 1866 to upend the Black political and social power that was being established during Reconstruction

Note: This Ku Klux Klan had largely dissolved by the end of the 1870s.

Examples of Ku Klux Klan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The same week the girls were released, Ku Klux Klan members bombed a church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four little girls. Randi Kaye, CNN, 17 Sep. 2023 Finally, in 1977, Robert Chambliss, a Ku Klux Klan leader, was convicted of murder in the church bombing and sentenced to life in prison. Deneen L. Brown, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Sep. 2023 On September 15, 1963 at 10:22 a.m. the Ku Klux Klan planted a bomb that exploded in the church’s basement and killed Lisa’s sister Denise, 11, and 14-year-olds Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson, and Addie Mae Collins and injured several others. Williesha Morris | Wmorris@al.com, al, 15 Sep. 2023 The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, was bombed 60 years ago by the Ku Klux Klan, killing four Black girls: Denise McNair, Cynthia Wesley, Addie Mae Collins and Carole Robertson. Elise Preston, CBS News, 14 Sep. 2023 That star, according to the Ku Klux Klan member who put it there, stands for the Confederacy and was intentionally placed above the three blue stars representing the other nations Arkansas has been part of: France, Spain and the United States. Gillian Brockell, Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2023 The provision comes from Civil Rights Act of 1871, also known as the Enforcement Act and the Ku Klux Klan Act. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 23 Aug. 2023 That’s true in my city of Oakland, which is much more diverse than Albany, but also has that history of racially restrictive covenants and redlining and Ku Klux Klan activity. Soumya Karlamangla, New York Times, 5 Sep. 2023 The shooting also occurred the day after the anniversary of Ax Handle Saturday, when the Ku Klux Klan attacked Black protestors that were conducting a sit-in with baseball bats and ax handles in 1960. Solcyre Burga, Time, 27 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Ku Klux Klan.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of Ku Klux Klan was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near Ku Klux Klan

Cite this Entry

“Ku Klux Klan.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Ku%20Klux%20Klan. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on Ku Klux Klan

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!