clan

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clan

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

[Middle English, from Scottish Gaelic clann, family, from Old Irish cland, offspring, from Latin planta, plant, sprout; see plat- in Indo-European roots.]
Word History: The word clan is, from the etymological point of view, the same word as plant. Such a statement may at first appear unlikely to English speakers, since the two words begin with very different consonants. But to the speakers of the Celtic language of Ireland in the 400s, known as Old Irish, c and p sounded quite similar. When St. Patrick converted Ireland to Christianity in the 5th century, the Old Irish language had no consonant p. After their conversion, the Irish began to borrow many words from Latin, and when the speakers of early Old Irish tried to pronounce the sound p in Latin words, the best they could manage was a (kw) or (k) sound, spelled c in Old Irish. For instance, the Latin words purpura, "purple," and Pascha, "Easter," were borrowed as corcur and Casc. (Later, as their language continued to develop and change, the Irish learned to cope with p, and Modern Irish has many words containing this consonant.) The early Irish also borrowed the Latin word planta meaning "sprout" or "sprig,"—also the source of the English word plant—and pronounced it cland. In Old Irish, cland was used to mean not only "offshoot of a plant" but also "offspring," "family," and "clan." The word cland was carried to the area that is now Scotland when speakers of Old Irish gained power in the region in the late 400s. The form of Old Irish spoken in Scotland eventually developed into the language now known as Scottish Gaelic. In Scottish Gaelic, cland developed the form clann, and it was from Scottish Gaelic that the word clan entered English in the 15th century, at first with reference to the clans of the Scottish Highlands.

clan

(klæn)
n
1. (Anthropology & Ethnology) a group of people interrelated by ancestry or marriage
2. (Anthropology & Ethnology) a group of families with a common surname and a common ancestor, acknowledging the same leader, esp among the Scots and the Irish
3. a group of people united by common characteristics, aims, or interests
[C14: from Scottish Gaelic clann family, descendants, from Latin planta sprout, plant1]

clan

(klæn)

n.
1. a group of families or households among the Scottish Highlanders, the heads of which claim descent from a common ancestor.
2. a group of people of common descent; family: Our whole clan gathers for Thanksgiving.
3. a clique, party, or other group united by some common interest.
[1375–1425; late Middle English (Scots) < Scottish Gaelic clann, Old Irish cland offspring < Latin planta scion, plant]

clan

- Ultimately from Latin planta, "plant, sprout."
See also related terms for sprout.

Clan

 a social group of common descent; a collection of animals, plants, or lifeless things; a body of persons with a common interest. See also set, society.
Examples: clan o’ bairns [‘children’], 1855; of the enlightened, 1790; of false traitors, 1552; of hounds, 1735.

clan

A group of people who claim to be descended from the same ancestor through either male or female links or both. It may be impossible to trace these links.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.clan - group of people related by blood or marriageclan - group of people related by blood or marriage
social group - people sharing some social relation
mishpachah, mishpocha - (Yiddish) the entire family network of relatives by blood or marriage (and sometimes close friends); "she invited the whole mishpocha"
family unit, family - primary social group; parents and children; "he wanted to have a good job before starting a family"
folks - your parents; "he wrote to his folks every day"
family tree, genealogy - successive generations of kin
totem - a clan or tribe identified by their kinship to a common totemic object
Tribes of Israel, Twelve Tribes of Israel - twelve kin groups of ancient Israel each traditionally descended from one of the twelve sons of Jacob
relative, relation - a person related by blood or marriage; "police are searching for relatives of the deceased"; "he has distant relations back in New Jersey"
clan member, clansman, clanswoman - a member of a clan
tribesman - someone who lives in a tribe

clan

noun
1. family, house, group, order, race, society, band, tribe, sept, fraternity, brotherhood, sodality A clash had taken place between rival clans.
2. group, set, crowd, circle, crew (informal), gang, faction, coterie, schism, cabal a powerful clan of industrialists from Monterrey

clan

noun
A group of people sharing common ancestry:
Translations
عَشيرَه، قَبيلَه
klanrod
klan
klán
ættflokkasamtök
klanas
ģintsklans
klan

clan

[klæn] N (also fig) → clan m

clan

[ˈklæn] nclan m

clan

n (lit, fig)Clan m

clan

[klæn] nclan m inv

clan

(klӕn) noun
a tribe or group of families (especially Scottish) under a single chief, usually all having one surname.
References in classic literature ?
He delivered his errand, and said the clans were already gathering in the big hall over the market house.
The eyes of the Scotch flashed fire; and, as often happens on such occasions, from shame they passed to effrontery and two heads of clans advanced upon the king.
He represented to them the impossibility that two such considerable clans could move about the country without leaving trails by which they might be traced.
Divide your men, Agamemnon, into their several tribes and clans, that clans and tribes may stand by and help one another.
The hostile clans, residing in the more remote sections of the island, and very seldom holding any communication with foreigners, are in every respect unchanged from their earliest known condition.
On this side of the river, at about five hundred paces from the old abbey, the fishermen had taken up their abode amidst a crowd of small tents raised by the soldiers of the neighboring clans, who had with them their wives and children.
But the man with the scientific imagination sees, as it were, the whole clans of MacNab scattered over the whole world, in its ultimate average as uniform as a tribe of birds.
They thought of it as a land of wild mountains and glens, a land of mists and cloud, a land where wild chieftains ruled over still wilder clans, who, in their lonely valleys and sea-girt islands, were for ever warring against each other.
He wasn't a sailor, or one might pardon his eccentricity of appearance; he must belong to the over-harbor clans.
For several years my husband received letters of expostulation or commendation from members of the Campbell and Stewart clans.
He is an example of that higher patriotism rarely met with in Chinese official life which recognises a duty to the Emperor as Father of the national family -- a duty too often forgotten in the obligation to the clan and the desire to use power for personal advantage.
Every partner who had charge of an interior post, and a score of retainers at his Command, felt like the chieftain of a Highland clan, and was almost as important in the eyes of his dependents as of himself.