\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

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 The Cool Kids | A multicam sitcom from writers Charlie Day and Paul Fruchborn, The Cool Kids is set in a retirement community where the ruling clique (Martin Mull, David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan) is unseated by a newcomer (Vicki Lawrence). Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Fall TV 2018: Watch Trailers for All the New Broadcast Shows (So Far)," 13 May 2018 Team 10, a clique of YouTubers who have pledged their allegiance (and an undisclosed portion of their income) to Paul in return for guest spots in his videos and housing in the Team 10 mansion. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "YouTube Star Jake Paul’s Fame Is Fading," 16 June 2018 SUBSCRIBE TODAY Reddix and his four buddies — Steve Capper, Larry Schwartz, Jeff Noel and Mark Gravich — were a stoner clique who hung out at a particular wall between classes at San Rafael High School. sacbee, "Why is 420 associated with pot? Blame it on this group of high-school stoners | The Sacramento Bee," 20 Apr. 2018 The director’s 1990 film Metropolitan chronicles a clique of privileged New York youngsters attending and critiquing one dance after another. Bob Morris, Town & Country, "The Curious Plight of the Modern Debutante," 28 Nov. 2017

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

30 Sep 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

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).


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Add Diction

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!