[ kleek, klik ]
/ klik, klɪk /


a small, exclusive group of people; coterie; set.

verb (used without object), cliqued, cli·quing.

Informal. to form, or associate in, a clique.

Origin of clique

1705–15; < French, apparently metaphorical use of Middle French clique latch, or noun derivative of cliquer to make noise, resound, imitative word parallel to click1

Related forms

clique·less, adjectivecli·quey, cli·quy, adjectivecli·quism, nounsub·clique, noun

Can be confused

claque cliqueclick clique

Synonym study

1. See circle, ring1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clique

British Dictionary definitions for clique


/ (kliːk, klɪk) /


a small, exclusive group of friends or associates

Derived Forms

cliquish, adjectivecliquishly, adverbcliquishness, noun

Word Origin for clique

C18: from French, perhaps from Old French: latch, from cliquer to click; suggestive of the necessity to exclude nonmembers
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