group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent

A clan is a group of people who – following a tradition – belong to the same kin. The word comes from the Goidelic languages, and means 'family'. It is similar in meaning to the more general word tribe.

Scottish clans

In Europe, the best-known clans system is that in Scotland, which still has some effects today, especially in the Scottish Highlands and Islands. It existed before the land was unified under a Scottish king, and continued long afterwards. Clans also existed in Ireland.