\ ˈklik How to pronounce clique (audio) also ˈklēk How to pronounce clique (audio) \

Definition of clique

: a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons especially : one held together by common interests, views, or purposes high school cliques

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Other Words from clique

cliquey \ ˈkli-​kē How to pronounce cliquey (audio) also  ˈklē-​ \ adjective
cliquish \ ˈkli-​kish How to pronounce cliquish (audio) \ 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

John quickly became friends with a clique of Axemen from Enugu, a city in southern Nigeria, who taught him the basics of advance-fee fraud, known in Nigeria as a 419 scam for its place in the nation’s criminal code. Sean Williams, Harper's magazine, "The Black Axe," 19 Aug. 2019 As one of Pascal’s only YA books that wasn’t part of a series, The Ruling Class — about a teenager named Twyla who clashes with a nasty clique of girls at her new high school — was overshadowed by a similarly themed pop culture phenomenon. Kristen Baldwin,, "Sweet Valley High," 16 Aug. 2019 Crushes, concerts, detention, gossip, and cliques dominate its characters’ lives — as is the norm for many teens. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Netflix’s Derry Girls is the best teen show out right now," 14 Aug. 2019 My former best friend had just ditched me for a cooler crowd at school, and at gymnastics a homeschooler clique was bullying me into finding Jesus. Rebecca Schuman, Longreads, "I’ll Be Loving You Forever," 14 Aug. 2019 The debate comes as Trump continues his feuds with a clique of Congresswomen of color; the powerful point-man on oversight, Rep. Elijiah Cummings of Maryland; and Baltimore, another majority-black city. Philip Elliott, Time, "Joe Biden is Ready for a Debate Rematch. This Time He's in a Fighting Mood.," 31 July 2019 While reports about cliques of law enforcement officers occasionally surface across the country, no agency has received more public scrutiny for them than the Sheriff’s Department in Los Angeles County. Joel Rubin,, "FBI investigating tattooed deputy gangs in Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department," 11 July 2019 Once in Paris, they were sold to the lady’s clique of chic French dames. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "A Century-Old Florentine Atelier Looks to the Future With Its First Resort Collection," 14 June 2019 The obstacle isn’t a lack of interest on Brixlee’s part but the crippling uncoolness of Max’s clique, The Beanbag Boys. Marella Gayla,, "In ‘Good Boys,’ sixth grade just isn’t what it used to be," 15 Aug. 2019

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

1711, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clique


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Statistics for clique

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clique

The first known use of clique was in 1711

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More Definitions for clique



English Language Learners Definition of clique

disapproving : a small group of people who spend time together and who are not friendly to other people


\ ˈklēk How to pronounce clique (audio) , ˈklik\

Kids Definition of clique

: a small group of friends who are not friendly to others

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More from Merriam-Webster on clique

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with clique

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for clique

Spanish Central: Translation of clique

Nglish: Translation of clique for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clique for Arabic Speakers

Comments on clique

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recurring in steady succession

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