\ 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 Jordyn’s ties with the Kardashian-Jenner clan remain somewhat tangled, fans are more than ready to see her thrive and flaunt her acting skills in Grown·ish. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "Jordyn Woods Will Star in "Grown-ish," Making Her Acting Debut," 30 May 2019 The affair appeared to be organized by Mindy Weiss, who has organized many parties for the Kardashian-Jenner clan before, including Kylie Jenner’s daughter Stormi’s fabulous first birthday. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "All the Details From Kim Kardashian West’s CBD-Themed Baby Shower," 28 Apr. 2019 Is there anything more American than the story of the Kardashian/Jenner clan's rise to fame? Sam Reed, The Hollywood Reporter, "All the Kardashian/Jenners Star in Calvin Klein's New Campaign," 22 Jan. 2018 Last Sunday’s debut episode introduced us to media tycoon Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his four children, a wealthy, wicked clan of rapacious narcissists vying for control of the family company, Waystar. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Five Reasons to Get Hooked on HBO’s Succession," 8 June 2018 His friendship with the Kardashian clan helped expose him—and his designs—to a global audience. Jake Woolf, GQ, "Burberry Announces Riccardo Tisci, Givenchy’s Former Golden Boy, as Its New Chief Creative Officer," 1 Mar. 2018 The arrival of the Kardashian clan in the Hamptons portends nothing good for one of America’s most exclusive summer communities. Alexander Nazaryan, Newsweek, "The Kardashians Killed the Hamptons," 3 July 2014 There’s nothing better than cozying up on a Friday night and tuning in to Mike, Vanessa, Mandy, and the rest of the Baxter clan. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Home Improvement' Is Available to Stream So Cancel Your Plans ASAP," 6 Apr. 2019 And while the royal family doesn't decorate the trees at Buckingham themselves, the youngest members of the Windsor clan (a.k.a. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "How the Royal Family Decorates Buckingham Palace for Christmas," 5 Dec. 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

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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