\ ˈklan How to pronounce clan (audio) \

Definition of clan

1a : a Celtic group especially in the Scottish Highlands comprising a number of households whose heads claim descent from a common ancestor the MacDonald clan
b : a group of people tracing descent from a common ancestor : family The whole clan gets together for the holidays.
2 : a group united by a common interest or common characteristics the country club clan

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Examples of clan in a Sentence

The tribe is divided into clans. The whole clan gets together for the holidays.
Recent Examples on the Web Of all the fashion statements made by members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, the best ones usually involve Kylie Jenner outfits. Whitney Perry, Glamour, "The Kylie Jenner Outfits Everyone Can Copy (and Instagram)," 8 Jan. 2020 The Kardashian-Jenner clan regularly hosts the most enviable parties, and their 2019 Christmas Eve shindig looked completely incredible. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Kardashian-Jenner Christmas Eve Bash Featured So Many Revealing Gowns," 25 Dec. 2019 Just ask Andrew Fitzsimons, whose client roster includes Adriana Lima, Joan Smalls—oh, and every single member of the Kardashian-Jenner clan. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "A Celebrity Hairstylist on the Pro Tools He Won’t Leave Home Without," 15 July 2019 For the last week, social media has been swirling with speculation that someone in the Kardashian-Jenner clan is pregnant, thanks to a video that Khloé Kardashian posted from her birthday party. Marci Robin, Allure, "Kylie Jenner May Be Launching a Line of Alcoholic Beverages," 29 June 2019 Even in primitive societies, older warriors knew to sacrifice their own lives to save the children that were the genetic future of the clan, and the mothers and grandmothers who nurtured them; this was a biological imperative. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Fatal high-rise fire raises wider cost and benefit questions," 22 Dec. 2019 The couple’s second daughter arrived at 12:47 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, weighing in at 7 pounds, 6 ounces and making the clan a family of five. Nardine Saad,, "Kim Kardashian and Kanye West welcome third baby: ‘We’re so in love’," 16 Jan. 2018 Much of the clan was murdered in Auschwitz in 1943; those who survive are now spread across the globe. The Economist, "Our books of the year," 7 Dec. 2019 Just Like Old Times’ The race to finish their village is on as multiple members of the Brown clan expand their families. Christina Dugan,, "Alaskan Bush People: The Brown Family Faces the 'Most Challenging' Summer in Season 11 Trailer," 4 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clan.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of clan

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for clan

Middle English, from Scottish Gaelic clann offspring, clan, from Old Irish cland plant, offspring, from Latin planta plant

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Time Traveler for clan

Time Traveler

The first known use of clan was in the 15th century

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Statistics for clan

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Clan.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for clan


How to pronounce clan (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of clan

: a large group of people who are related
informal : a large family
informal : a group of people who are similar or who are interested in the same thing


\ ˈklan How to pronounce clan (audio) \

Kids Definition of clan

1 : a group (as in the Scottish Highlands) made up of households whose heads claim to have a common ancestor
2 : a large family

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More from Merriam-Webster on clan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clan

Spanish Central: Translation of clan

Nglish: Translation of clan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clan for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about clan

Comments on clan

What made you want to look up clan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a feeling of well-being or elation

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