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90s Slang You Should Know


[klahy-uh n-tel, klee-ahn-] /ˌklaɪ ənˈtɛl, ˌkli ɑn-/
the clients or customers, as of a professional person or shop, considered collectively; a group or body of clients:
This jewelry store has a wealthy clientele.
dependents or followers.
Origin of clientele
1555-65; < Latin clientēla, equivalent to client- (see client) + -ēla collective noun suffix; (def 1) probably < French clientèle < Latin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for clientele
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Historical Examples
  • The clientele of 126 was an ever-changing one, but the class characteristics were stationary.

    Mary Louise and Josie O'Gorman Emma Speed Sampson
  • Not that all the books in Mr. Rowlandson's shop are old; his clientele is too diversified.

    Old Valentines Munson Aldrich Havens
  • It is possible through such a market to build up a clientele of buyers who will return for further purchases.

    A Living from the Land William B. Duryee
  • The clientele of the Express will not be made up of his puppets!

    Carmen Ariza Charles Francis Stocking
  • In that it is certainly rough, and is not calculated to favourably impress the more critical of our clientele.

    Diseases of the Horse's Foot Harry Caulton Reeks
British Dictionary definitions for clientele


customers or clients collectively
Word Origin
C16: from Latin clientēla, from cliēnsclient
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clientele

1560s, "body of professed adherents," from French clientèle (16c.), from Latin clientela "relationship between dependent and patron, body of clients," from clientem (nominative cliens; see client). Meaning "customers, those who regularly patronize a business or professional" is from 1857, perhaps a reborrowing from French (it was used in English in italics as a foreign word from 1836).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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