clar·​i·​on | \ ˈkler-ē-ən How to pronounce clarion (audio) , ˈkla-rē- \

Definition of clarion

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a medieval trumpet with clear shrill tones
2 : the sound of or as if of a clarion



Definition of clarion (Entry 2 of 2)

: brilliantly clear her clarion top notes also : loud and clear a clarion call to action

Examples of clarion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But a lot of us probably won’t be able to find a more relevant expression for a successful clarion call to remove a racist symbol of hatred in a predominantly Black city. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Here are Alabama’s 2020 Entertainers of the Year," 31 Dec. 2020 Those who have long studied homicide rates say 2020 is also a clarion call to policymakers to reevaluate traditional attempts to reduce crime that rely heavily on police. Jeremy Gorner,, "Pandemic, civil unrest likely contributed to more than 50% increase in Chicago homicides in 2020, experts say," 31 Dec. 2020 Their clarion call advocating for racial justice and Black lives has resonated with Oregonians and driven real reform over the past several months. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "Protesters smash Portland shop windows, leaving downtown businesses reeling again," 6 Nov. 2020 Out of the din, out of the fog, out of the noise, here’s a heads up, a clarion call, a positive moment to note. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Here’s a champion we should all emulate," 12 Oct. 2020 This year, what is usually a jubilant song on our lips will become a clarion call in our hearts. Meir Soloveichik, WSJ, "A Former Catholic Dances With the Torah," 8 Oct. 2020 This alone is progress—seventy-five years after President Truman’s clarion call for health care justice. David Oshinsky, The New York Review of Books, "Health Care: The Best and the Rest," 6 Oct. 2020 So often, the plot of our lives seems like a clarion call for the extraordinary. Devin, Longreads, "Out There: On Not Finishing," 9 Sep. 2020 But now that millions of consumers use fitness trackers and smartphones, and many trial participants have had positive experiences with telehealth during the pandemic, the clarion call to digitize clinical trials may finally be heard. Jordan Brayanov, STAT, "With Covid-19 halting clinical trials, wearables could be key — but data ‘wild west’ gets in the way," 11 Aug. 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1801, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clarion


Middle English, from Middle French & Medieval Latin; Middle French clairon, from Medieval Latin clarion-, clario, from Latin clarus

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Time Traveler for clarion

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The first known use of clarion was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Clarion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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