\ 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 also  ˈklē-​ How to pronounce cliquey (audio) \ 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

Hanaway, a 34-year-old homeless man, was killed as part of the clique’s attempt to claim territory, the Los Angeles Police Department has said. Nicole Santa Cruz, Los Angeles Times, "MS-13 gang’s bloody reign of terror in San Fernando Valley leaves residents horrified," 18 July 2019 As the book opens, at the start of their second year at Warren, the other four of them are reunited in a snug little clique: a cooing, cuddling, pretty-pastel bunch of pampered child-women who address one another as Bunny. Laura Collins-hughes,, "In Mona Awad’s ‘Bunny,’ an M.F.A. program is the devil’s workshop," 27 June 2019 The new Netflix show tells the story of three high school girls who come from different social cliques, but bond after a Shopper’s Anonymous meeting. Ariana Brockington,, "Every Moody, Swoony Song From Trinkets' Soundtrack," 15 June 2019 Big Ten revenue sharing is the envy of every athletics consortium, congress, club and clique from Portland, Maine, to Portland, Oregon. John Shipley, Twin Cities, "John Shipley: Under Jim Delany, Big Ten grew into a beast," 5 June 2019 Her research has shown that daughters learn it from watching their mothers, and spongers form cliques with other spongers—making it a cultural tradition. Erica Tennenhouse, National Geographic, "These fishermen-helping dolphins have their own culture," 9 Apr. 2019 During this time, China was split into competing military cliques and was only nominally unified in 1928 by the Chinese Nationalist Party, after more than a decade of political maneuvering and warfare. Don Giolzetti, CNN, "'Uncle Petrov' is the ethnic Russian streaming star making China question what it means to be Chinese," 22 June 2019 Langman and his co-author, the Yale anatomist Harold Saxton Burr, were among a small clique of scientists investigating the electrical properties of human tissue. Sally Adee, Quartz, "Our bodies are full of electricity that could help us fight cancer," 30 May 2019 Similarly, the Pink Ladies, a popular clique headed by Rizzo (Stockard Channing), deliver their wiseacre lines with a fair dose of irony. Vogue, "The 55 Best Romantic Comedies of All Time," 1 Feb. 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

22 Jul 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

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