\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

But when that zenith lies over North Korea, where the Kim clan is apotheosized as supernatural beings, leadership brings booming isolation. Charlie Campbell / Beijing, Time, "All Signs Suggest North Korea's Kim Jong Un Really Wants to Make a Deal," 8 June 2018 The first Kentucky Derby was held in 1875, at a time when the Pepper clan was already in its third generation of whiskey production at the current site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery. Jake Emen, USA TODAY, "Tour Kentucky's historic Woodford Reserve Distillery," 3 May 2018 Jenner's Instagram Stories show how the event unfolded and social media posts from staff show the entire Kardashian-Jenner clan was there: Kim, Kylie, Kendall and Kourtney as well as Kanye West. Francisca Ortega, Houston Chronicle, "Kylie Jenner just threw Travis Scott the best AstroWorld themed birthday ever," 29 Apr. 2018 San Juan Island Sea Salt, Washington State The clan of Ryan Farm – Brady Ryan and his wife Leah Wymer, Brady’s brother Tyler Ryan and their friend Anna Strickland – are the farmers and harvesters behind San Juan Island Sea Salt., "Buy This: 3 regional salts you’ll want in your pantry," 5 Mar. 2018 Most accurately, the Camondos were citizens of the world, a clan for whom national boundaries were little more than imaginary lines. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "A Secret Paris Museum and an Aristocratic Family Decimated by the Holocaust," 9 Feb. 2017 Looks like the Lobell-Edwards clan is positively exuberant. Kathleen Hackett, ELLE Decor, "All in the Family," 4 Oct. 2010 One wall of the venue was lined with a painting of the entire Kardashian/Jenner clan, with depictions of everyone from the late Robert Kardashian, to Stormi Webster, to Jordyn Woods. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "9 Juicy Details From Kylie Jenner's Over-The-Top 21st Birthday Party That You Totally Missed," 10 Aug. 2018 Tartaglione’s case pitted her family of political heavyweights against another North Philadelphia political clan – the Acostas – that claims two former state representatives among its ranks. Jeremy Roebuck,, "Philly politico Renee Tartaglione sentenced to nearly 7 years in prison," 12 July 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

5 Dec 2018

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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

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).


living or existing for a long time

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