\ 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 Husseini also used the occasion to assassinate and eliminate members of the Nashashibi clan, his chief rivals for power. Sean Durns, National Review, 7 June 2021 In addition to promoting the family brand, members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan are paid to plug products online. Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 The look was done by makeup artist Ash Kohlm, who has a roster of superstar clients including Shay Mitchell, Bebe Rexha and the Kar-Jenner clan. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 26 May 2021 The idea of structure was maddening to a young Galante, who felt more of a kinship with the Thornberry clan, which traveled all over the world to exotic locations for the sake of filming content for a nature documentary. Josh Weiss, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Gordon told me that sharing one’s familect is also the act of welcoming outsiders into one’s clan. Kathryn Hymes, The Atlantic, 13 May 2021 The Lee clan, Samsung's founding family, face the mother of all estate taxes. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, 28 Apr. 2021 It is based on a true story: in the late nineteenth century, the Hurabat clan, a tribe that lived near the Theban necropolis, discovered a cache of nearly fifty royal mummies. Ursula Lindsey, The New York Review of Books, 27 Apr. 2021 As proprietors of Aurora, the local restaurant beloved by residents and jet-setters alike for over a century, the clan is an indispensable part of Capri’s cultural ecosystem—and fierce champions of its culinary traditions. Laura May Todd, ELLE Decor, 22 Apr. 2021

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

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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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