: a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons
especially : one held together by common interests, views, or purposes
high school cliques
cliquey adjective
cliquish adjective
cliquishly adverb
cliquishness noun

Examples of clique in a Sentence

that clique refuses to even talk to outsiders at their lunch table
Recent Examples on the Web In just five years the brand had rocketed to the top echelon of global fashion houses, sidling up to the French-speaking clique of Chanel, Christian Dior, and Yves Saint Laurent. Josh Condon, Robb Report, 3 Sep. 2023 The budget calls for the addition of three captains to be placed in stations with a history of deputy gangs and cliques. Rebecca Ellis, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2023 But the faction, which emerged in the 1980s in Gaza (with a degree of Israeli help) as a Palestinian offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, won the votes of many Palestinians who were tired of the entrenched Palestinian clique of Abbas and his allies in the secular Fatah party. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2023 And Charlotte would just lose herself in the clique of kids playing in the street. Nick Watt, CNN, 22 Oct. 2023 Since the mid-2000s, shelves of academic research have been generated that study Russian kleptocracy, the idea that Russia is ruled by a clique of people primarily interested in illicitly extracting wealth from the state and the economy. Sam Greene, Foreign Affairs, 22 Sep. 2023 This final season is in some sense about what the show’s sometimes frustrating, sometimes sublime structural choice—to be a show about a community, not a clique within it—really means. Phillip MacIak, The New Republic, 27 Sep. 2023 Orban’s clique, in turn, hopes for a far-right restoration in the White House, which would give new momentum to their agenda. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, 27 Sep. 2023 Forbidding triangles means forbidding large cliques, and this forces large independent sets to emerge, just as the Erdős-Hajnal conjecture predicts. Patrick Honner, Quanta Magazine, 21 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clique.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



First Known Use

1711, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of clique was in 1711

Dictionary Entries Near clique

Cite this Entry

“Clique.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a small group of people who spend time together and are not friendly to other people
ˈklē-kē How to pronounce clique (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on clique

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