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 What this is really a clarion call for is a much more effective diplomacy. CBS News, "Transcript: Jake Sullivan and Kurt Campbell talk with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 9 Oct. 2019 Temperatures this week that dipped into the 70s were a clarion call to hikers. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: It’s perfect time of year for Canyoneer Hikes," 14 Sep. 2019 Half the world has been clamoring for more Atwood, but specifically for more Handmaids—something to cut through as an icon or a parable, anything to shine a light on 2019 or act as a clarion call with Handmaids getting justice or, better, vengeance. Sophie Charara, Wired, "Margaret Atwood's The Testaments Is Done With Handmaids," 11 Sep. 2019 Intimations of a deal avoiding further animosity reverberate as a clarion call to buy, sending share prices higher while easing worries about a potential global economic downturn. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Trump Can Battle China or Expand the Economy. He Can’t Do Both.," 26 Aug. 2019 That’s been the clarion call for Raiders’ player personnel operatives ever since George Blanda retired his truss. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "Watch: Derek Carr’s toddler passes to Antonio Brown’s son for Raiders touchdown," 29 July 2019 That was definitely a clarion call for more diversity in the food world, particularly for judges of culinary shows. Shauna Stuart |,, "Chef Todd Richards on empowering chefs to better understand soul food," 21 June 2019 The Suidlanders believe van Rensburg prophesied a war that would be both the beginning of a marauding massacre of whites in South Africa and the clarion signal of a World War III. James Pogue, Harper's magazine, "The Myth of White Genocide," 10 June 2019 The inevitability of all veterans of the 1939-1945 war being gone soon is acting as a clarion call. Raf Casert, Twin Cities, "Chasing demons: 75 years on, D-Day haunts, drives its vets," 3 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clarion

Listen to Our Podcast about clarion

Statistics for clarion

Last Updated

16 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for clarion

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on clarion

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clarion

Spanish Central: Translation of clarion

Nglish: Translation of clarion for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about clarion

Comments on clarion

What made you want to look up clarion? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


strength of mind

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • pasta resembling wheels with spokes
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!