Meaning of CLAN in English


kinship group of fundamental importance in the structure of many societies. Membership of a clan is socially defined in terms of actual or purported descent from a common ancestor. This descent is unilineali.e., derived only through the male (patriclan) or the female (matriclan). Normally, but not always, the clans are exogamous, marriage within the clan being forbidden and regarded as incest. Clans may segment into subclans or lineages, and genealogical records or myths may be altered to incorporate new members who have no demonstrable kinship ties with the clan. Clan membership may be useful in ensuring mutual support and defense as well as in the mediation of disputes over the transmission of property rights and the mode of residence after marriage. Through exogamy, a clan may increase its number and consolidate alliances through affinal (marital) bonds. Some clans express their unity in terms of the possession of a common emblem, which may represent the ancestral being or common origin of the members and, as such, is often an object of reverence.

Britannica English vocabulary.      Английский словарь Британика.