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[klan-ish] /ˈklæn ɪʃ/
of, relating to, or characteristic of a clan.
inclined to associate exclusively with the members of one's own group; cliquish:
the clannish behavior of the original members of the country club.
imbued with or influenced by the sentiments, prejudices, or the like, of a clan.
Origin of clannish
1770-80; clan + -ish1
Related forms
clannishly, adverb
clannishness, noun
unclannish, adjective
unclannishly, adverb
unclannishness, noun
2. exclusive, snobbish, distant, aloof, narrow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for clannishness
Historical Examples
  • They have now and then manifested a clannishness which led them into disagreeable, if temporary, complications.

  • The clannishness of the mountaineer has been the subject of much comment.

  • They excited his curiosity, he envied their mode of life, admired their clannishness, delighted in their primitive customs.

    The Life of George Borrow Herbert Jenkins
  • But their clannishness does not shelter them from all tribulation.

    Jungle Folk Douglas Dewar
  • There is another trait of the Goriouns to record—their clannishness.

    Tramping with Tramps Josiah Flynt
  • Indications are that they have retained their clannishness to a considerable degree.

    Area Handbook for Albania Eugene K. Keefe
  • He liked the American clannishness, and he sighed to think of the utter lack of family affection in his own life.

    One Day Anonymous
  • Self-interest, as well as clannishness, held the family together.

    Blind Policy George Manville Fenn
  • It is not enough to say that this is clannishness; it is a mingling of kinship and religious preferences.

  • Even the Scotch and the Devonians weaken a little in their clannishness.

    The New Machiavelli Herbert George Wells
British Dictionary definitions for clannishness


of or characteristic of a clan
tending to associate closely within a limited group to the exclusion of outsiders; cliquish
Derived Forms
clannishly, adverb
clannishness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for clannishness



"disposed to adhere closely to one another," 1747, from clan + -ish. Related: Clannishly; clannishness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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