- 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.
- the principal social unit of tribal organization, in which descent is reckoned exclusively in either the paternal or the maternal line.
- a group of people regarded as being descended from a common ancestor.
Origin of clan
Examples from the Web for clanless
Historical Examples of clanless
For only a clanless one would think of speaking other than the truth.
A little guy named Donald Michaels had been disguised as a clanless mat maker.
- 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
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."