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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Murphy, Jamie, and the rest of the O'Brien clan will be here for Thanksgiving.
▪ Most people want many sons because they carry on the family line and that means our clan can claim more land.
▪ My own family was at once strongly nuclear and part of what can only be called a clan.
▪ Several clans made up a tribe, although there appears to have been no central leadership except in times of war.
▪ Tell him we will go upriver, to the Cheng clan in the Su Sung Tai.
▪ The branches of the hierarchical tree hide this secret organisation with its inner clan of unknown lieutenants possessing mythical powers.
▪ The scullions sweated and ducked at the spits and bake-ovens built around the exercise ground for the clan to feast.
▪ War and isolation have proved an ideal breeding ground for corruption and feuding between rival political clans.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Clan \Clan\ (kl[a^]n), n. [Gael. clann offspring, descendants; akin to Ir. clann, cland, offspring, tribe, family; perh. from L. plania scion, slip, cutting. Cf. Plant, n.]

  1. A tribe or collection of families, united under a chieftain, regarded as having the same common ancestor, and bearing the same surname; as, the clan of Macdonald. ``I have marshaled my clan.''

  2. A clique; a sect, society, or body of persons; esp., a body of persons united by some common interest or pursuit; -- sometimes used contemptuously.

    Partidge and the rest of his clan may hoot me.

    The whole clan of the enlightened among us.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c., from Gaelic clann "family, stock, offspring," akin to Old Irish cland "offspring, tribe," both from Latin planta "offshoot" (see plant (n.)). The Goidelic branch of Celtic (including Gaelic) had no initial p-, so it substituted k- or c- for Latin p-. The same Latin word in (non-Goidelic) Middle Welsh became plant "children."


n. 1 (context anthropology English) A group of people all descended from a common ancestor, in fact or belief. 2 A traditional social group of families in the Scottish Highlands having a common hereditary chieftain 3 Any association of people behaving clannishly. 4 (context video games English) A group of players who habitually play on the same team in multiplayer games. 5 A badger colony.


n. group of people related by blood or marriage [syn: kin, kin group, kinship group, kindred, tribe]


A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolic, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan's unity. When this "ancestor" is non-human, it is referred to as a totem, which is frequently an animal. The word clan is derived from clann meaning children or progeny but not family in the Irish and the Scottish Gaelic languages. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was introduced into English in around 1425, as a label for the nature of the society of the Scottish Highlands ll. Clans in indigenous societies tend to be exogamous, meaning that their members cannot marry one another. Clans preceded more centralized forms of community organization and government and are in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show they are an independent clan.

Clan (video games)

In computer and video gaming, a clan, community, guild or faction is an organized group of players that regularly play together in one or more multiplayer games, but is focused on a particular game. These games range from groups of a few friends to 4000-person organizations, with a broad range of structures, goals and members. The lifespan of a clan also varies considerably, from a few weeks to over a decade. Numerous clans exist for nearly every online game available today, notably in first-person shooters, massively multiplayer games, role-playing video games, and strategy games. There are also meta-groups that span a wide variety of games.

Clan (car)

The Clan Crusader is a fibreglass monocoque British sports car based on running gear from the Hillman Imp Sport, including its Coventry Climax derived, rear-mounted 875 cc engine. It was first made in Washington, Co Durham, England between 1971 and 1974, but since then several efforts have been made to bring the car back to production. Plans were made by Martin Phaff (of previous Ginetta fame) to re-resurrect the Clan in 2009, but nothing seems to have come of the project so far.

Clan (African Great Lakes)

In the African Great Lakes region, the clan is a unit of social organisation. It is the oldest societal structure in the region, other than family and direct lineage. The structure is found in modern-day Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and Uganda.

Clan (TV series)

Clan (aired as The Out-Laws in the UK) is a Dutch Language Belgian TV series, directed by Kaat Beels and Nathalie Basteyns. The show aired during fall of 2012 on the Belgian channel VTM, after six months of filming from August 2011 until January 2012.

Clan (disambiguation)

A clan is a group of people united by kinship and descent, and it may refer to:

  • Scottish clan, a Scottish family group with a common surname
  • Irish clan, an Irish family group with a common surname
  • Japanese clans. a Japanese family group with a common surname
  • Chinese clan association, formed by Overseas Chinese based on dialect groups or family names

Clan(s) may also refer to:

  • Protein clan, a superfamily of proteins, usually proteases
  • Clan (car), a British sports car manufacturer, producer of the Clan Crusader
  • Clan (video gaming), a group of players who regularly play together in a multi-player game
  • Clans (board game), a prehistoric-themed German-style board game
  • Clans (game), a 1999 action RPG.
  • Clans (BattleTech), in the fictional BattleTech universe
  • Clans, Alpes-Maritimes, a commune of the Alpes-Maritimes département in France
  • Clans, Haute-Saône, a commune of the Haute-Saône département in France
  • Clan Line, a British shipping firm of the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Clan TVE, a children- and youth-oriented Spanish TV channel.
  • SFU Clan, the varsity sport teams for Simon Fraser University
  • BR Standard Class 6, clan class British steam locomotive.
  • Foot soldiers in the game Clash of Clans
Clan (TV channel)

Clan is a children's TV channel from the Spanish public service broadcaster TVE. Until 1 January 2007 it had time-shared with TVE 50 Años which has since closed. The service now broadcasts 24 hours a day. The channel is available free on digital terrestrial television (known as TDT in Spain) and on Digital+. Although the channel primarily screens programming for children aged 12 and under, youth programming is shown during the evening and night (for example Dawson Crece, or Dawson's Creek). A mixture of Spanish and foreign programming is shown, all in the Spanish language. Both live-action and animation programming is featured on the channel.

Usage examples of "clan".

Verlis from Abaddon and let me go with him to Draconae to help his clan.

The southwest corner of Anshan contains the Persian highlands, whose clan leader was Cyrus the Achaemenid, hereditary lord of Anshan.

In Albania he chanced to knock at the gate of the castle belonging to the head of the powerful Wallenstein clan, where he was duly invited to spend the night.

Algol-Raphael, patriarch of the Algol clan, king schmuck of the universe, has parked himself beside a column next to the stairway.

Belt, and the Algol clan is at the forefront of the Omega Point movement.

Superior spacers wearing hard-suits painted with the sword emblem of the Algol clan.

Perhaps alone of the Algonkin tribes the Shawnees confined it to one totem, but it is remarkable that the greatest of their prophets, Elskataway, brother of Tecumseh, was not a member of this clan.

The scion of a pure Castilian clan he preferred not to name, the young rebel leader would have had no trouble passing as a dapper Anglo in a different outfit.

She was the queen of a warrior clan in Ansu about six thousand years ago.

She butchered her way to the thrones of about six clans in southern Ansu, and then the rest of the clans joined forces and overwhelmed her.

Appendix are given the clan names of the Coyoteros, also of the Arivaipa and the Chiricahua.

This conclusion is suggested first of all by the practice of the Arunta and other Central Australian tribes, who observe very similar ceremonies with the avowed intention of thereby multiplying the totemic animals and plants in order that they may be eaten by the tribe, though not by the particular clan which has these animals or plants for its totem.

King Ashfall used to ally the strongest of the clans to the crown via marriage.

Blind Hari avers that very few of the blades came from the east or the south, most being produced by clan smiths who had dug the metal out of ancient ruins.

The bond is like that of the Axemaster for each member of the clan, not between members.