\ˈklik also ˈklēk \

Definition of clique 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from clique

cliquey \ˈkli-​kē also ˈklē-​ \ adjective
cliquish \ˈkli-​kish \ 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

The awkwardness of puberty and popular cliques obviously dampen the middle school experience, too. Christine Coppa, Good Housekeeping, "Middle School Proves to Be the Most Stressful Time — for the Whole Family," 27 Jan. 2016 Plaid-loving pals Dion and Cher from Clueless or the miniskirt-wearing Mean Girls clique are easy costumes to come by, as are Almost Famous’s Penny Lane and The Royal Tenenbaum’s Margot Tenenbaum in their shearling and fur coats. Katie Devlin, Vogue, "11 Last-Minute Halloween Costumes, Inspired by Feel-Good Movies," 30 Oct. 2018 Dolphin was aware that members of Kavanaugh’s clique were reciting that poem, according to a person familiar with her thinking. Kate Kelly, The Seattle Times, "Kavanaugh’s yearbook page is ‘horrible, hurtful’ to a woman it named," 24 Sep. 2018 In fact, when Kimberly's old clique confronts her about what is a clear transgression of privacy, we're supposed to take her side. Nico Lang, Harper's BAZAAR, "There's No Such Thing As A Slut," 10 Apr. 2017 Now, despite past attempts by sheriff’s officials to discourage internal cliques, fresh allegations have arisen of deputies in the department’s Compton station adorned with matching skull tattoos. Joel Rubin,, "After decades of problems, new allegations surface of a secret clique within L.A. County Sheriff's Department," 10 July 2018 The video panels between the pair of star artists and the clique of kids gallivanting throughout the scene. Michael Saponara, Billboard, "Royce Da 5'9" & J. Cole Reminisce About Old Times in 'Boblo Boat' Video," 26 Mar. 2018 Around two dozen well-educated, middle-class 20-something Ethiopian men have formed an intimate clique both on and offline. Katie Baker, Newsweek, "'A Graveyard for Homosexuals'," 12 Dec. 2013 But Baldwin gets to know Bieber through the Kardashian/Jenners; the whole clique goes to church together at Hillsong. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "A Comprehensive Timeline Of Hailey Baldwin and Justin Bieber’s Relationship," 9 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of clique

1711, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for clique


Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about clique

Statistics for clique

Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for clique

The first known use of clique was in 1711

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for clique



English Language Learners Definition of clique

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


\ˈklēk, ˈklik\

Kids Definition of clique

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
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!