clan·​nish | \ ˈkla-nish How to pronounce clannish (audio) \

Definition of clannish

1 : of or relating to a clan clannish traditions
2 : tending to associate only with a select group of similar background or status a clannish community

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Other Words from clannish

clannishly adverb
clannishness noun

Synonyms for clannish


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Examples of clannish in a Sentence

The college faculty can be pretty clannish, so it's difficult to be an outsider there. a clannish family that can be rather cool to outsiders
Recent Examples on the Web Family WhatsApp groups keep veritable scorecards of famous desis, as though Vice President Kamala Harris or Surgeon General Vivek Murthy were cousins on whom to lavish clannish pride. Sanjena Sathian, Time, 9 Apr. 2021 At first, Edge’s noisy entourage and naive enthusiasm irritated the park’s rather shy and clannish community of bird enthusiasts. Melissa Groo, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Mar. 2021 Think Jeronimo Yanez, Philando Castile’s killer, and see how young officers fare in these toxic, clannish environments. Cynthia Gomez Engoulou, Star Tribune, 19 Nov. 2020 At the same time, its historical imagination is clannish. Nikil Saval, The New Republic, 26 Oct. 2020 The mine companies did, however, pour funding into excellent schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure, and Ely’s mix of clannish immigrants implanted a lasting culture of saunas and stable family life. Jack Brook, The Christian Science Monitor, 2 July 2020 For much of the world, Mr. Varadkar is a symbol of Ireland’s leap from its clannish, Catholic past to a tolerant, multiracial modernity. Mark Landler, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2020 This clannish pocket of Roseland was packed with first- and second- generation homeowners willing to lend a hand with parenting responsibilities, especially to struggling neighbors. Madeline Buckley,, 29 Aug. 2019 The Oulipo, a diverse if clannish guild that has somehow managed to survive for fifty-eight years, has included both major writers and pedantic hobbyists, and inspired work along the entire range of its members’ capabilities. Luc Sante, Harper's magazine, 10 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clannish.' 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 clannish

1776, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for clannish

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The first known use of clannish was in 1776

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Cite this Entry

“Clannish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of clannish

often disapproving : not showing interest in people who are not part of your group or who are not similar to you

More from Merriam-Webster on clannish

Nglish: Translation of clannish for Spanish Speakers


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