\ 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

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 For now the scene continues to revolve around a handful of groovy spots run by a tight clan of longtime insiders. Christopher Bagley, Condé Nast Traveler, "Alan Faena Creates La Vie Bohème in José Ignacio, Uruguay," 18 June 2018 In the sweet snaps shared on her Instagram Stories, Kardashian gave the best insight into what a day out with the West clan looks like. Amy Mackelden, Marie Claire, "Kim Kardashian and Kanye West Had the Sweetest Zoo Day with North and Saint," 30 Mar. 2018 The Kardashian-Jenner-West clan will compete against each other on Family Feud after Paris Hilton’s family bailed on them at the last minute, according to TMZ. Shannon Barbour, Cosmopolitan, "The Kardashian-Jenner-West Clan Will Compete on This Popular Game Show," 26 Feb. 2018 While the story is of course devastating for Khloé and the entire Kardashian clan, that hasn't stopped fans across the world from finding some humor in the situation and producing some of the best memes the internet has ever seen. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "These Crazy Tristan Thompson/Jordyn Woods Cheating Scandal Memes Are Exploding on Twitter," 22 Feb. 2019 Though many may agree that Celebrity Big Brother isn’t a satisfying substitute for the NCIS clan, everyone can calm down: The show will return with its season 16 episodes on February 5, which is just a mere two weeks away. Megan Stein, Country Living, "CBS Sparks Outrage Among 'NCIS' Fans After Temporarily Replacing the Show," 23 Jan. 2019

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

14 Mar 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

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