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[klah-khuh n, kla-]
noun Scot., Irish.
  1. a small village or hamlet.
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Origin of clachan

1375–1425; late Middle English (Scots) < Scots Gaelic, equivalent to clach stone + -an diminutive suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for clachan

Historical Examples of clachan

  • The “Clachan” is now all spick and span; but its surroundings are the same.

    The Rivers of Great Britain: Rivers of the East Coast


  • Night lay passively upon the sea, upon the isle, upon the clachan.

  • Hewson is still in the clachan hard by when he urges his friend to come to him: and he comes.

    The Germ


  • These important news were soon diffused through the clachan.

  • On November 14 some of them mishandled an old man in the clachan of Dalry, on the Ken.

British Dictionary definitions for clachan


  1. Scot and Irish dialect a small village; hamlet
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Word Origin for clachan

C15: from Scottish Gaelic: probably from clach stone
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

Word Origin and History for clachan


"small village" (Scottish and Irish), early 15c., from Gaelic clach (plural clachan) "stone."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper