clan

[ klan ]
/ klæn /

noun

a group of families or households, as among the Scottish Highlanders, the heads of which claim descent from a common ancestor: the Mackenzie clan.
a group of people of common descent; family: Our whole clan got together for Thanksgiving.
a group of people, as a clique, set, society, or party, especially as united by some common trait, characteristic, or interest: a clan of actors and directors.
Anthropology.
  1. the principal social unit of tribal organization, in which descent is reckoned exclusively in either the paternal or the maternal line.
  2. a group of people regarded as being descended from a common ancestor.

Origin of clan

1375–1425; late Middle English (Scots) < Scots Gaelic clann < Old Irish cland offspring < Latin planta scion, plant, perhaps directly < British Celtic; compare Welsh plant children

Related forms

clan·less, adjectivein·ter·clan, adjectivesub·clan, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clan

British Dictionary definitions for clan

clan

/ (klæn) /

noun

a group of people interrelated by ancestry or marriage
a group of families with a common surname and a common ancestor, acknowledging the same leader, esp among the Scots and the Irish
a group of people united by common characteristics, aims, or interests

Word Origin for clan

C14: from Scottish Gaelic clann family, descendants, from Latin planta sprout, plant 1
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