- The definition of Ku Klux Klan is a secret society in the southern U.S. that focuses on white supremacy and terrorizes other groups.
An example of the Ku Klux Klan is a group of men who are anti-black, anti-Catholic and anti-Semitic.
- a secret society of white men founded in the S States after the Civil War to reestablish and maintain white supremacy
- a secret society organized in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1915 as “the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan”: it is anti-black, anti-Semitic, anti-Catholic, etc., and uses terrorist methods
Origin: Ku Klux plush klan, arbitrary spelling, spelled for clan
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun Abbr. KKK
- A secret society organized in the South after the Civil War to reassert white supremacy by means of terrorism.
- A secret fraternal organization of similar intent founded in Georgia in 1915.
Origin: Perhaps alteration of Greek kuklos, circle; see cycle + alteration of clan.
Ku Klux Klan - Cultural Definition
A secret society dedicated to the supremacy of white people in the United States. It began in the South during the time of Reconstruction and attempted to terrorize the many southern blacks and carpetbaggers who had replaced white southerners in positions of power. The Klan gained renewed strength in the 1920s and again in the 1960s but is now very diminished. It has stated that it aims to preserve “pure Americanism.” It has attacked Jews (see also Jews) and Roman Catholics, along with immigrants and communists but is still primarily opposed to equal rights for black people and has often engaged in violence against them. Klansmen wear white hoods and robes. Klan leaders have titles such as Grand Dragon, Grand Cyclops, and Imperial Wizard.
- A favored tactic of Klansmen is to burn a wooden cross outside the house of someone whom they wish to intimidate. Typically, they want the occupant to move out of the vicinity. The burning cross is a threat of future assaults if the victim does not do what the Klan wants.