What does CLAN mean?

Definitions for CLANklæn

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word CLAN.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. kin, kin group, kinship group, kindred, clan, tribe(noun)

    group of people related by blood or marriage


  1. clan(Noun)

    A group of people all descended from a common ancestor, in fact or belief.

  2. clan(Noun)

    A traditional social group of families in the Scottish Highlands having a common hereditary chieftain

  3. clan(Noun)

    Any association of people behaving clannishly.

  4. clan(Noun)

    A group of players who habitually play on the same team in multiplayer games.

  5. Origin: From clann, from cland, from plant, from planta.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Clan(noun)

    a tribe or collection of families, united under a chieftain, regarded as having the same common ancestor, and bearing the same surname; as, the clan of Macdonald

  2. Clan(noun)

    a clique; a sect, society, or body of persons; esp., a body of persons united by some common interest or pursuit; -- sometimes used contemptuously

  3. Origin: [Gael. clann offspring, descendants; akin to Ir. clann, cland, offspring, tribe, family; perh. from L. plania scion, slip, cutting. Cf. Plant, n.]


  1. Clan

    A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. The kinship-based bonds may be symbolical, whereby the clan shares a "stipulated" common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan's unity. When this ancestor is not human, it is referred to as an animalian totem. Clans can be most easily described as tribes or sub-groups of tribes. The word clan is derived from 'clann' meaning 'family' in the Irish and Scottish Gaelic languages. The word was taken into English about 1425 as a label for the tribal nature of Irish and Scottish Gaelic society. The Gaelic term for clan is fine. Clans preceded more centralized forms of community organization and government; they are located in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show they are an independent clan. In different cultures and situations, a clan may mean the same thing as other kin-based groups, such as tribes, castes, and bands. Often, the distinguishing factor is that a clan is a smaller part of a larger society such as a tribe, a chiefdom, or a state. Examples include Irish, Scottish, Chinese, Japanese clans, Rajput clans, Nair Clan or Malayala Kshatriya Clan in India and Pakistan, which exist as kin groups within their respective nations. Note, however, that tribes and bands can also be components of larger societies. However, the early Norse clans, the ætter, cannot be translated with tribe or band, and consequently they are often translated as house or line. The Biblical tribes of Israel were composed of many clans, Arab clans are small groups within Arab society. Ojibwa bands are smaller parts of the Ojibwa tribe or people in North America, as one example of the many Native American peoples distinguished by language and culture, most having clans and bands as the basic kinship organizations. In some cases more than one tribe recognized each other's clans; for instance, both the Chickasaw and Choctaw tribes had fox and bear clans whose membership could supersede the tribe.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Clan

    klan, n. a tribe or collection of families subject to a single chieftain, bearing the same surname, and supposed to have a common ancestor: a clique, sect: a collective name for a number of persons or things.—adj. Clan′nish, closely united, like the members of a clan.—adv. Clan′nishly.—ns. Clan′nishness; Clan′ship, association of families under a chieftain: feeling of loyalty to a clan; Clans′man, a member of a clan. [Gael. clann, offspring, tribe—L. planta, a shoot.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Clan

    a tribe of blood relations descended from a common ancestor, ranged under a chief in direct descent from him, and having a common surname, as in the Highlands of Scotland; at bottom a military organisation for defensive and predatory purposes.

Suggested Resources

  1. CLAN

    What does CLAN stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the CLAN acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of CLAN in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of CLAN in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Jane Howard:

    Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.

  2. Victor Cha:

    Clearly, an effort to slow-track her on to becoming somebody who is important within the system, there really aren't many bodies left to carry on the sort of Kim clan rule.

  3. Mark Zaid:

    One, Trump could resign as president. Two, he could sell the property -- and not selling his interest to his kids. Three, the whole Trump clan could shut the hotel down entirely.

  4. Erin Hunter:

    I looked up to you. I wanted to be like you. But Redtail was my mentor. I owe him more than any cat. And you killed him. You killed him and betrayed the Clan. I'd rather die than follow you!

  5. Christine Carter:

    We’re tribal, cave people, if you’re spending the majority of your day alone, it doesn’t feel good to most people. There’s a little part of your nervous system wondering where your clan is.

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Translations for CLAN

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