- The definition of a clan is a close-knit group who are related or who share a strong common interest.
- The Jones family and all of the descendants of that family are an example of the Jones clan.
- A group of artists who live together in a communal house and who share an interest in abstract art are an example of a clan of artists.
- an early form of social group, as in the Scottish Highlands, composed of several families claiming descent from a common ancestor, bearing the same family name, and following the same chieftain
- in certain primitive societies, a tribal division, usually exogamous, of matrilineal or patrilineal descent from a common ancestor
- a group of people with interests in common; clique; set
- Informal family (sense )
Origin of clanGaelic and amp; Irish clann, cland, offspring, tribe ; from Classical Latin planta, offshoot: see plant
- A traditional social unit in the Scottish Highlands, consisting of a number of families claiming a common ancestor and following the same hereditary chieftain.
- A division of a tribe tracing descent from a common ancestor.
- A large group of relatives, friends, or associates.
Origin of clanMiddle English, from Scottish Gaelic clann, family, from Old Irish cland, offspring, from Latin planta, plant, sprout; see plat- in Indo-European roots. Word History: The word clan is, from the etymological point of view, the same word as plant. Such a statement may at first appear unlikely to English speakers, since the two words begin with very different consonants. But to the speakers of the Celtic language of Ireland in the 400s, known as Old Irish, c and p sounded quite similar. When St. Patrick converted Ireland to Christianity in the 5th century, the Old Irish language had no consonant p. After their conversion, the Irish began to borrow many words from Latin, and when the speakers of early Old Irish tried to pronounce the sound p in Latin words, the best they could manage was a (kw) or (k) sound, spelled c in Old Irish. For instance, the Latin words purpura, “purple,” and Pascha, “Easter,” were borrowed as corcur and Casc. (Later, as their language continued to develop and change, the Irish learned to cope with p, and Modern Irish has many words containing this consonant.) The early Irish also borrowed the Latin word planta meaning “sprout” or “sprig,”—also the source of the English word plant—and pronounced it cland. In Old Irish, cland was used to mean not only “offshoot of a plant” but also “offspring,” “family,” and “clan.” The word cland was carried to the area that is now Scotland when speakers of Old Irish gained power in the region in the late 400s. The form of Old Irish spoken in Scotland eventually developed into the language now known as Scottish Gaelic. In Scottish Gaelic, cland developed the form clann, and it was from Scottish Gaelic that the word clan entered English in the 15th century, at first with reference to the clans of the Scottish Highlands.
- (anthropology) A group of people all descended from a common ancestor, in fact or belief.
- A traditional social group of families in the Scottish Highlands having a common hereditary chieftain
- Any association of people behaving clannishly.
- (video games) A group of players who habitually play on the same team in multiplayer games.
- A badger colony.