\ 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

While most people may recognize Jordyn Woods as Kylie Jenner’s best friend, there’s much more to the rising star than being a member of the Kardashian-Jenner's extended clan. Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "Jordyn Woods on Body Positivity, Mental Health, and SECNDNTURE," 31 Dec. 2018 Creativity is clearly the lifeblood of the Carpenzano clan: His sister Livia, also seen here, is an artist of the more esoteric persuasion. Vogue, "25 Ways to Gucci: Rome’s Creative Class," 29 Nov. 2018 The trial scene implodes, first as the clans squabble among themselves, and then as an unexplained fire breaks out and engulfs the room. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "15 years later, Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines 2 is finally happening," 21 Mar. 2019 But for many viewers, Beth, the strong, steady wife of Randall, is the clan’s shining star. Amy Spencer, Good Housekeeping, "This Is Us," 12 Feb. 2019 Meanwhile, a trip to hang with the Jonas clan in Texas back in September called for his and hers pale denim accessorized with sunglasses and Fendi fanny packs. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Always Dress Better Together," 1 Dec. 2018 It was later owned by a member of the de Merode family, a noble clan that has played a role in northwest Europe since the Middle Ages. WSJ, "A Belgian Castle With a Heroic Past," 13 Feb. 2019 Finally, Kim showed off her final look by North West, before letting her niece, Dream Kardashian, have a go: All in all, a successful makeup tutorial by the Kardashian West clan. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Just Let North West & Dream Kardashian Play Makeup Artist, & the Results Are Hilarious," 24 Nov. 2018 Leave it to the Kardashian-Jenner-West clan to conquer Halloween. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West and All Her Sisters Dressed as Victoria’s Secret Angels for Halloween," 31 Oct. 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

11 Apr 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
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

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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

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