Origin of club

1175–1225; Middle English clubbe < Old Norse klubba club; akin to clump
Related formsin·ter·club, adjectivesu·per·club, noun

Synonyms for club

Synonym study

2, 4. See circle.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for club

Contemporary Examples of club

Historical Examples of club

British Dictionary definitions for club



a stout stick, usually with one end thicker than the other, esp one used as a weapon
a stick or bat used to strike the ball in various sports, esp golfSee golf club (def. 1)
short for Indian club
a group or association of people with common aims or interestsa wine club
  1. the room, building, or facilities used by such a group
  2. (in combination)clubhouse
a building in which elected, fee-paying members go to meet, dine, read, etc
a commercial establishment in which people can drink and dance; discoSee also nightclub
mainly British an organization, esp in a shop, set up as a means of saving
British an informal word for friendly society
  1. the black trefoil symbol on a playing card
  2. a card with one or more of these symbols or (when pl) the suit of cards so marked
  1. a spar used for extending the clew of a gaff topsail beyond the peak of the gaff
  2. short for club foot (def. 3)
in the club British slang pregnant
on the club British slang away from work due to sickness, esp when receiving sickness benefit

verb clubs, clubbing or clubbed

(tr) to beat with or as if with a club
(often foll by together) to gather or become gathered into a group
(often foll by together) to unite or combine (resources, efforts, etc) for a common purpose
(tr) to use (a rifle or similar firearm) as a weapon by holding the barrel and hitting with the butt
(intr) nautical to drift in a current, reducing speed by dragging anchor
Derived Formsclubbing, noun

Word Origin for club

C13: from Old Norse klubba, related to Middle High German klumpe group of trees, clump, Old English clympre lump of metal
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 club

c.1200, "thick stick used as a weapon," from Old Norse klubba "cudgel" or a similar Scandinavian source (cf. Swedish klubba, Danish klubbe), assimilated from Proto-Germanic *klumbon, related to clump (n.). Old English words for this were sagol, cycgel. Specific sense of "bat used in games" is from mid-15c.

The club suit in the deck of cards (1560s) bears the correct name (Spanish basto, Italian bastone), but the pattern adopted on English cards is the French trefoil. Cf. Danish klőver, Dutch klaver "a club at cards," literally "a clover."

The social club (1660s) apparently evolved from this word from the verbal sense "gather in a club-like mass" (1620s), then, as a noun, "association of people" (1640s).

We now use the word clubbe for a sodality in a tavern. [John Aubrey, 1659]

Admission to membership of clubs is commonly by ballot. Clubs are now an important feature of social life in all large cities, many of them occupying large buildings containing reading-rooms, libraries, restaurants, etc. [Century Dictionary, 1902]

I got a good mind to join a club and beat you over the head with it. [Rufus T. Firefly]

Club sandwich recorded by 1899, apparently as a type of sandwich served in clubs; club soda is 1877, originally a proprietary name.


"to hit with a club," 1590s, from club (v.). Meaning "gather in a club-like mass" is from 1620s. Related: Clubbed; clubbing.

CLUB, verb (military). -- In manoeuvring troops, so to blunder the word of command that the soldiers get into a position from which they cannot extricate themselves by ordinary tactics. [Farmer & Henley]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with club


see join the club.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.