\ ˈklan \

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

According to the lore of the show, Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) is a descendant of Wyatt Earp, who got the clan put under a curse. Maureen Ryan, New York Times, "A Cult Show’s Recipe for Success: Whiskey, Twitter and Complex Women," 6 July 2018 The family of Steph Curry took down the Chris Paul clan on a recent episode of Family Feud, but the real MVP wasn’t the Golden State Warriors guard. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "Watch Ayesha Curry completely dominate Fast Money on 'Family Feud'," 25 June 2018 Kardashian clan standout Kylie Jenner was eight months pregnant with baby Stormi at the time and wasn't in the city. Jose Lambiet, miamiherald, "Rapper Travis Scott: Miami car rental company tried to extort me," 5 June 2018 If things break her way, Deb Haaland, Democratic candidate for Congress in New Mexico’s first district and a member of the Turquoise clan of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, could likely become the U.S.’s first-ever Native American woman in Congress. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: How Black Women Survive Your Talent Pipeline, Mascots are Biased and Five Breaking News Haikus," 11 May 2018 Music and the clan of women who keep them at arm’s length are their sole salvation, their way of escaping their purgatory and their path to transcendence. Greg Kot,, "Neil Young on tech giants ('jerks'), audio quality ('bad') and his new movie with Darryl Hannah," 14 Mar. 2018 There are Native American clans who still live in the area and trace their lineage to the cliff dwellings. Zak Podmore, Outside Online, "The Native Americans Who Call the Grand Canyon Home," 24 May 2018 True is the third girl born into the Kardashian-Jenner clan this year. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Here's Your Long-Awaited First Look at Khloé Kardashian's Baby, True Thompson," 12 May 2018 Meanwhile, the Kardashian-Jenner clan is not happy with Tristan at all. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Tristan Thompson Reportedly "Broke Down Crying" in the Delivery Room with Khloé," 10 May 2018

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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Statistics for clan

Last Updated

12 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for clan

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

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English Language Learners Definition of clan

: a large group of people who are related

: a large family

: a group of people who are similar or who are interested in the same thing


\ ˈklan \

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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Comments on clan

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