Definition of Clan
(noun) A group of people descended from a common ancestor such as an individual, animal, mythical being, or plant.
Example of Clan
- American English – /klAn/
- British English – /klAn/
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /klæn/
- British English – /klan/
- Plural: clans
- According to some social scientists, the term clan only relates to a descent group traced though the mother and gens is the term for descent through the father, whereas sibs is used for both types.
- When a clan traces their origin to a mythical creature, this a type of totemism.
- Clans are typically unilineal, either matrilinealor patrilineal.
- Clan is often used informally to refer to any family such as the Bell clan or other group such as a clan of sociologists or gamers.
- In common use the term clan typically refers to people with Irish or Scottish heritage.
- Family and Kinship Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “clan” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- descent group
- extended family
- nonunilineal descent
- unilineal descent
Cite the Definition of Clan
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “clan.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 5, 2023 (https://sociologydictionary.org/clan/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
clan. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/clan/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “clan.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 5, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/clan/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“clan.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 5 Jun. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/clan/>.