\ 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 In Aspen, where the Kardashian-Jenner clan has been enjoying the slopes and all manner of aprés ski fashion, Kylie and Kendall Jenner offered two takes on seasonal outerwear. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "This Week, the Best Dressed Stars Set the Tone for 2021," 4 Jan. 2021 Everyone has their own set of holiday traditions, but leave it to the Kardashian-Jenner clan to go all out for Christmas, even during a global pandemic. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Kardashian-Jenner Clan's Christmas Party Gowns Will Make Your Jaw Drop," 26 Dec. 2020 If Corrin’s Diana is embarrassingly needy, her in-laws are a dysfunctionally frosty clan only capable of bonding through a shared love of horses and hunting. Meredith Blake Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Emma Corrin was always drawn to Princess Diana. Now she knows her from the inside out," 15 Nov. 2020 Politics are greatly influenced by a north-south divide, and many political parties fall along family and clan lines. Thomas Grove, WSJ, "Kyrgyzstan’s President Pledges to Resign Amid Turmoil in Former Soviet Republic," 15 Oct. 2020 The Monreaux family isn’t just a go-to-church-on-Sunday clan: Religion is their life and their business. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "There are ‘Filthy Rich’ Christians on TV ... and, good heavens, are they ever flawed!," 19 Sep. 2020 Outsiders have little sway at VW because just over 90% of voting stock is in the hands of the three key shareholders: the Piech and Porsche billionaire clan, the German state of Lower Saxony and Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund. Christoph Rauwald, Fortune, "Volkswagen to tie top executives’ bonuses with hitting ESG targets," 19 Dec. 2020 Hulu also signed a deal with the Kardashian clan to develop new content. Erich Schwartzel And Joe Flint, WSJ, "Disney+ Could Hit 260 Million Subscribers by 2024, CEO Bob Chapek Says," 11 Dec. 2020 She was occupied in particular with the Zimmern family, an artistic, neurotic clan whose members can be glimpsed — sometimes fleetingly, sometimes head-on — throughout her books. Margalit Fox, New York Times, "Alison Lurie, Tart-Voiced Novelist of Manners, Dies at 94," 3 Dec. 2020

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

9 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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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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