from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A traditional social unit in the Scottish Highlands, consisting of a number of families claiming a common ancestor and following the same hereditary chieftain.
  • n. A division of a tribe tracing descent from a common ancestor.
  • n. A large group of relatives, friends, or associates.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A group of people all descended from a common ancestor, in fact or belief.
  • n. A traditional social group of families in the Scottish Highlands having a common hereditary chieftain
  • n. Any association of people behaving clannishly.
  • n. A group of players who habitually play on the same team in multiplayer games.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A tribe or collection of families, united under a chieftain, regarded as having the same common ancestor, and bearing the same surname.
  • n. A clique; a sect, society, or body of persons; esp., a body of persons united by some common interest or pursuit; -- sometimes used contemptuously.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A race; a family; a tribe; an association of persons under a chieftain; especially, such a family or tribe among the Highlanders of Scotland.
  • n. Figuratively, a clique, sect, set, society, or body of persons closely united by some common interest or pursuit, and supposed to have a spirit of exclusiveness toward others.
  • n. Synonyms Tribe, Race, etc. See people.
  • n. A social unit in a tribe in which descent is reckoned in the maternal line; a group of people supposed to be descended from a common ancestor, descent being reckoned in the female line. In this sense it is opposed to gens, the social unit in a tribe in which descent is reckoned in the paternal line.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. group of people related by blood or marriage


Middle English, from Scottish Gaelic clann, family, from Old Irish cland, offspring, from Latin planta, plant, sprout; see plat- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Scottish Gaelic clann ("progeny, race"), from Old Irish cland, from Old Welsh plant, from Latin planta ("shoot, offspring"). (Wiktionary)


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  • from the Irish word 'clann', meaning family

    February 19, 2007