\ 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

Everyone can relate to wanting to fit in and being part of a clique. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Who Is Lacey Chabert? Meet the Star of the Hallmark Christmas Movie, ‘Pride, Prejudice and Mistletoe'," 23 Nov. 2018 The message instructed gang members from nearly a dozen MS-13 cliques to pick three police officers or soldiers to assassinate, according to a report viewed by The Wall Street Journal. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Why Are People Fleeing Central America? A New Breed of Gangs Is Taking Over.," 2 Nov. 2018 Pleitez, who was a member of MS-13’s East Boston Loco Salvatrucha clique, was arrested in 2016 after a three-year investigation of Massachusetts members of the violent street gang, prosecutors said. Jackson Cote,, "East Boston MS-13 member sentenced to prison," 11 July 2018 My high school had cliques: the black girls and white girls, the Filipino and the Latina girls. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Super Relatable Meghan Markle Says Her Twenties Were "Brutal"," 26 Jan. 2019 Or make an effort to work with her directly on some project — which is a decent tactic for responding to office cliques in general. New York Times, "When a Good Friend Becomes a Terrible Colleague," 9 Mar. 2018 Black and white musicians—male and female, old and young—stood shoulder to shoulder without pretense or any suggestion of cliques. Marc Myers, WSJ, "A Great Day in Harlem, Revisited," 2 Nov. 2018 As someone who’s been disgusted with certain aspects of our national and local politics––the negativity, the hyperpartisanship, the cliques and ‘good old boys’ clubs––I’d rather forge my own path. Hallie Thompson, Teen Vogue, "28-year-old Plant Biologist Hallie Thompson Explains Why She's Running for Congress," 7 Aug. 2018 My high school had cliques: the black girls and white girls, the Filipino and the Latina girls. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "This Is the One Thing Meghan Markle Asks for Every Birthday," 4 Aug. 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.

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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

4 Mar 2019

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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

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