Definition of clannish in English:



  • (of a group or their activities) tending to exclude others outside the group.

    ‘they are a clannish lot with no time for foreigners’
    • ‘Highly clannish, these tribes were organized in tight kinship groups with commonly held property and a rough-and-ready sort of representative government regarding matters other than military.’
    • ‘Early Finnish Americans had a reputation for being clannish.’
    • ‘Also from ancient times onward, the more tribal or clannish a society, the more resistant it is to change - and the more often pressures for modernizing reforms must come largely from outside or above.’
    • ‘A decision by the often clannish management of a small firm to let in outsiders can be monumental.’
    • ‘Basque immigrants tended to remain clannish at first, socializing with other Basques - often from the same villages in Europe - and patronizing Basque businesses.’
    • ‘Their clannish fights are the backdrop for our battles in the game.’
    • ‘Borderlanders were migratory, blood thirsty, clannish, and suspicious of strangers.’
    • ‘They also are seen as clannish and as a criminal menace.’
    • ‘They are insular, cliquey and clannish.’
    • ‘The people tend to be traditionally clannish in the rural areas.’
    • ‘‘People are loyal,’ he says, ‘and at the same time clannish - this is my group.’’
    • ‘The clannish nature of the villagers and townspeople was evident.’
    • ‘The natural reaction for humans is to be clannish.’
    • ‘The county is notorious for clannish thinking when it comes to the outside world.’
    • ‘The English art scene in the 1950s was clannish and especially difficult for a woman to break into.’
    • ‘It's the clannish attitude which drove my parents and many others far from their heritage.’
    • ‘By 1918, there was suspicion of German Americans and other ethnic groups who were thought to be too clannish and too attached to their Old World cultures.’
    • ‘The town, with its nautical history, its foghorns, its steep bluffs and clannish folk, is quintessential Minesota.’
    • ‘I can't stand how limited, how clannish, how narrow-minded they are!’
    • ‘The essence of the myth is that the English are standoffish, the Welsh are clannish and only the Scots and the Irish mix with anyone.’
    cliquey, cliquish, insular, exclusive
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