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. Clans, in indigenous societies, tend to be exogamous, meaning that their members cannot marry one another. Clans preceded more centralized forms of community organization and government, and exist in every country. Members may identify with a coat of arms or other symbol to show they are an independent clan. The kinship-based bonds may also have a symbolic ancestor, whereby the clan shares a “stipulated” common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan’s unity. When this “ancestor” is non-human, it is referred to as a totem, which is frequently an animal.
The word clan is derived from the Gaelic clann meaning “children” or “progeny”; it is not from the word for “family” in either Irish or Scottish Gaelic. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word was introduced into English in around 1425, as a label for the nature of the society of the Scottish Highlands. The Irish term for clan is fine [ˈfʲɪnʲə]; líon tí is a term for “family” in the sense of “household”; and muintir is a term for “family” in the sense of “kinsfolk”.
A group of people all descended from a common ancestor, in fact or belief.
A traditional social group of families in the Scottish Highlands having a common hereditary chieftain
Any association of people behaving clannishly, including one’s immediate family.
A group of players who habitually play on the same team in multiplayer games.
A badger colony.
alternative case form of Klan
a close-knit group of interrelated families, especially in the Scottish Highlands
“the clan Macleod”
“civil strife has followed as rival clans jockey for power”
a large family
“the Watts clan is one of racing’s oldest families”
a group of people with a strong common interest
“New York’s garrulous clan of artists”
the Ku Klux Klan or a large organization within it.