inner circle

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in′ner cir′cle

a small, intimate, and often influential group of people.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.inner circle - an exclusive circle of people with a common purposeinner circle - an exclusive circle of people with a common purpose
band, circle, lot, set - an unofficial association of people or groups; "the smart set goes there"; "they were an angry lot"
Bloomsbury Group - an inner circle of writers and artists and philosophers who lived in or around Bloomsbury early in the 20th century and were noted for their unconventional lifestyles
bohemia - a group of artists and writers with real or pretended artistic or intellectual aspirations and usually an unconventional life style
brain trust, kitchen cabinet - an inner circle of unofficial advisors to the head of a government
loop - an inner circle of advisors (especially under President Reagan); "he's no longer in the loop"
cabal, camarilla, faction, junto - a clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue
junta, military junta - a group of military officers who rule a country after seizing power
maffia, mafia - any tightly knit group of trusted associates
faction, sect - a dissenting clique
galere, rogue's gallery - a coterie of undesirable people
hard core - the most dedicated and intensely loyal nucleus of a group or movement
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
It is only since I have joined this Society that I have been made aware that in addition to the general members, of which body I believe that the Duchess and I are the sole representatives here, there are special members, and members of the inner circle. And I understand that in connection with these there is a great machinery of intrigue going on all the time, with branches all over the world, spies everywhere with unlimited funds, and with huge opportunities of good or evil.
Now the great bull that had replied to the distant call leaped from the inner circle to dance alone between the drummers and the other bulls.
And Kasatsky wished to belong to that inner circle. To attain that end it would be necessary to be an aide-de-camp to the Emperor--which he expected to become--or to marry into that exclusive set, which he resolved to do.
The target was not so far but that twelve out of the twenty contestants reached its inner circle. Rob shot sixth in the line and landed fairly, being rewarded by an approving grunt from the man with the green blinder, who shot seventh, and with apparent carelessness, yet true to the bull's-eye.
True, as he knew himself, they were not the real inner circle. They did not rank with the Morgans and Harrimans.
It seemed to her that between herself and all the other people in the world, a wall had been built up and that she was living just on the edge of some warm inner circle of life that must be quite open and under- standable to others.
Our Inner Circle forbade her, but she had ever a will of her own and disdained discipline.
In the center of the inner circle, on a spacious platform six feet high, I've grouped a battery of thirteen gatling guns, and pro- vided plenty of ammunition."
The Court, from that exclusive inner circle to its outermost rotten ring of intrigue, corruption, and dissimulation, was all gone together.
Clergymen, judges, statesmen,--the wisest, calmest, holiest persons of their day stood in the inner circle round about the gallows, loudest to applaud the work of blood, latest to confess themselves miserably deceived.
The inner circle train from the City rushed impetuously out of a black hole and pulled up with a discordant, grinding racket in the smirched twilight of a West-End station.
Now the whole spindle has the same motion; but, as the whole revolves in one direction, the seven inner circles move slowly in the other, and of these the swiftest is the eighth; next in swiftness are the seventh, sixth, and fifth, which move together; third in swiftness appeared to move according to the law of this reversed motion the fourth; the third appeared fourth and the second fifth.