\ 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

However, William and Kate did spend the holidays with them in 2016 instead of with the rest of the royal clan. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Doria Ragland Reportedly Won't Spend Christmas with the Royal Family," 18 Dec. 2018 Unsurprisingly, fans of the royal family were happy to see that Meghan, the newest member of the clan, is looking as happy as ever. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Prince Charles 70th Birthday Photos Reunite Royal Family," 14 Nov. 2018 The Duchess is joined by Charles and Camilla in the photos, along with Prince William, Duchess Kate, and the youngest members of the Windsor-Cambridge-Sussex clan: Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Wears a Chic White Dress in New Portraits for Prince Charles's 70th Birthday," 13 Nov. 2018 The rest of the Ferguson clan will still likely show up at Windsor Castle next month to see their niece get married. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Inside Sarah Ferguson's Relationship With Her Sisters and Brother," 19 Sep. 2018 Cox, who is Bergé’s widower and was a close friend of the YSL clan for 40 years, plans to start to fuse the private with the public realms of the property next year. Marian Mcevoy, ELLE Decor, "An Intimate Look Inside Yves Saint Laurent’s Private Marrakech Home," 2 Aug. 2018 Kylie Jenner of the Kardashian-Jenner clan is worth an estimated $900 million after spending the last three years hawking her Kylie Cosmetics makeup line to more than 100 million followers across Instagram and Snapchat. Jason Del Rey, Recode, "Lady Gaga is quietly working on a new beauty startup — and it already has Silicon Valley’s blessing and funding," 12 July 2018 There will also be dance and pipe band competitions, Celtic music and exhibits by various clans. Phil Marty,, "Midwest events: Lumberjack championships, a country music festival and more," 22 June 2018 In 2015, Ostia's municipal administration was put under Italian government control because of infiltration by local crime clans. Fox News, "Pope encourages mobster-plagued town to take law's side," 3 June 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

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for clan

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

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More Definitions for clan



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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More from Merriam-Webster on clan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

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