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Borrowed from French clique, ultimately of imitative origin. Influenced by "claque", though this may have happened in French rather than in English.



clique (plural cliques)

  1. A small, exclusive group of individuals; a cabal.
    This school used to be really friendly, but now everyone keeps to their own cliques.
    • 1931, Dorothy L. Sayers, The Five Red Herrings
      There had been talk of some disagreement about a picture, but in Sir Maxwell's experience, artists frequently disagreed about pictures, with no more consequences than a little cold-shouldering or the formation of a clique.
  2. (graph theory) A subgraph isomorphic to a complete graph.
    The problem of finding the largest clique in an arbitrary graph is NP-complete.
  3. (Internet) A group of related web sites that link to each other, like a webring but with exclusive membership determined by the clique owner.
    • 1999, "Jackie", someone help me out? (on newsgroup
      Does anyone know what an internet clique is/does? I came across a few and am thoroughly confused.
    • 2000, "- deanna -", ot: hiya (on newsgroup
      even though we're not "regulars" anymore...*sniffle*...we still can't forget the NG...i always tell new fans about it...(people who join my clique, etc...)...and besides...i owe the NG a LOT...itz where i met my best friend...
    • 2001, "spee2k", future no doubt website.... (on newsgroup
      you always have to click some big section and you get a whole new set of options in a different frame, thats[sic] usually on the other side of the screen. when you're there, you can choose from (in a section site stuff or something like that) link me, link you, links, top 10 links, free for all links, cliques, and webrings.


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


clique (third-person singular simple present cliques, present participle cliquing, simple past and past participle cliqued)

  1. (intransitive) To associate together in a clannish way; to act with others secretly to gain a desired end; to plot.

Usage notesEdit

  • Often used in the form clique together.

See alsoEdit



Borrowing from French clique.



clique f (plural cliques)

  1. Alternative spelling of kliek (clique, coterie).
  2. (graph theory) clique, subgraph






  1. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of clicar.
  2. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of clicar.
  3. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of clicar.
  4. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of clicar.