Click of people

Clique Definition & Meaning - Merriam-Webster




: a narrow exclusive circle or group of persons

especially : one held together by common interests, views, or purposes

high school cliques









cliquishly adverb

cliquishness noun


  • body
  • bunch
  • circle
  • clan
  • community
  • coterie
  • coven
  • crowd
  • fold
  • galère
  • gang
  • klatch
  • klatsch
  • lot
  • network
  • pack
  • ring
  • set

See all Synonyms & Antonyms in Thesaurus 

Example Sentences

that clique refuses to even talk to outsiders at their lunch table

Recent Examples on the Web Some observers expected Xi would give at least one slot on the standing committee to a politician from outside his clique in a nod to power sharing. Lily Kuo And Christian Shepherd, Anchorage Daily News, 23 Oct. 2022 The two were bandmates in Depp’s on-and-off musical projects, and confidants who worked and partied together in a clique that competed for Depp’s favor. Sean Piccoli, Rolling Stone, 20 May 2022 Some young theatergoers were dressed in bright pink dresses, a tribute to the trendsetting clique The Plastics in the story. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 28 Sep. 2022 Veronica gets involved with the bullying clique of Heathers, meets rebellious J.D., murders ensue – yet satisfying enough for musical theater fans. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 16 Sep. 2022 Banishment, forcing Snyder to sell his team, is currently a bridge too far for this privileged, insulated clique. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 29 July 2022 When popular student, Delia, introduces Annie to a clique that spends more time partying than studying–yet still has offers to attend the top universities–Annie eagerly joins. Josie Howell | [email protected], al, 21 Sep. 2022 Tina Fey adapted her screenplay for the stage, keeping most of the story about a high school girl’s introduction to a vicious clique intact while adding references to social media. Jim Kiest And Deborah Martin, San Antonio Express-News, 8 Aug. 2022 Without a way to connect students from different states around the U.S., Greek life is just a collective group of organizations that cultivate partying, hazing, exclusivity and a clique-type culture. WSJ, 30 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clique.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History



First Known Use

1711, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler

The first known use of clique was in 1711

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Cite this Entry



“ Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Nov. 2022.

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Kids Definition


ˈklēk ˈklik 

: a small group of people who spend time together and are not friendly to other people





More from Merriam-Webster on


Nglish: Translation of clique for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of clique for Arabic Speakers

Last Updated: 7 Nov 2022

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Merriam-Webster unabridged

Why You Click with Certain People

Maybe it’s happened to you with a stranger at a party, or with a casual acquaintance at work. If you’re really lucky, it’s happened to you during a job interview, or within minutes of meeting the roommates your college assigned you.

You clicked with them.

It can happen whether you’re shy or outgoing, whether the topic of conversation is one you’re into or one you’re barely familiar with. But the experience of clicking is unforgettable. Everything the other person says resonates with you. Your speech rhythms match. Conversation flows like rushing water, unimpeded by a single awkward silence and unruffled by even a moment of annoyance, puzzlement, or misunderstanding: the social equivalent of a flawless, gold-medal ski run.

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The experience of clicking can seem, in short, near-miraculous…which is just the sort of challenge neuroscientists like. Insinuating that something can’t be explained has the same kind of effect on researchers as waving a red flag in front of a bull. Of course they’re going to hunt for the neurobiological underpinnings of clicking, and 2018 is shaping up to be a banner year for that.

If clicking with someone feels like you’re “on the same wavelength,” it turns out there’s a good reason for that. In what’s called “interpersonal synchronization,” people click in an unspoken meeting of the minds about how long to linger before a museum painting or when to get up from the coffeehouse table. Such synchrony occurs when an overheard remark triggers in both of you a simultaneously raised eyebrow, when what you see on your companion’s face reflects the feelings and thoughts inside your own brain. Your body language matches, what catches your attention catches his, you become impatient at the same time about the same things.

In a 2018 study of one version of syncing, neuroscientist Pavel Goldstein of the University of Colorado Boulder and colleagues enlisted 22 heterosexual couples, ages 23 to 32, and administered mildly painful heat on each woman’s arm. As her partner offered comfort and sympathy, the researchers measured brain activity in each partner.

Simply being in each other’s presence caused their brain waves to sync, as measured by EEG, particularly in wavelengths called the alpha–mu band. These brain waves are a mark of focused attention. Each couple was in sync, mirroring one another neurologically in terms of what they were focusing on—her pain, his efforts to comfort her (maybe second thoughts about volunteering for scientific experiments). When the man and woman held hands while she experienced the mild burn, synchrony, or what scientists call “brain-to-brain coupling,” reached its zenith.

Seeing someone you love suffer is (hopefully) an unusual experience, but neural synchrony occurs in mundane situations, as well. In a 2018 study, 42 volunteers watched short video clips (ranging from America’s Funniest Home Videos to an astronaut discussing seeing Earth from space, journalists debating a Barack Obama speech, and a homemade wedding film) while scientists measured their brain activity with fMRI. The scientists had previously mapped everyone’s social network, noting who was whose friend, who was a friend of a friend, who was a friend twice removed, and so forth.

Brain activity while viewing the clips was “exceptionally similar among friends,” said psychologist Thalia Wheatley of Dartmouth College, who led the study. “But that similarity decreases with increasing distance in the social network.” In other words, friends were most similar in their patterns of neural activity, followed by friends of friends, and then friends of friends of friends. Those neural patterns, Wheatley said, suggest that “we are exceptionally similar to our friends in how we perceive and respond to the world around us. You click more with friends than with non-friends, which fits with our intuition that we resonate with some people more than others. There seem to be neurobiological reasons for that.”

The brain regions with the most similar activity among friends included subcortical areas such as the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala, which are involved in motivation and processing emotions. There was also remarkable similarity in areas involved in deciding what to pay attention to, and regions in the inferior parietal lobe that have been linked to discerning others’ mental states, processing the narrative content of stories, and generally making sense of the world.

Wheatley calls it neural homophily (the idea that like befriends like). Responding to the world in a similar way, as measured by brain activity, underlies the phenomenon of clicking: It’s why you and that stranger at a party or assigned roommate laugh at the same things, want to chat endlessly about the same topic, and see the logic in the same argument. If two people interpret and respond to the world in similar ways, they’re easily able to predict one another’s thoughts and actions, Wheatley said. This increased predictability makes it easier to interact and communicate, which makes conversations and shared experiences more enjoyable. It also makes friendships more likely.

But homophily also describes how birds of a feather flock together, where the “feathers” are things like age, ethnicity, and education level: People tend to become friends with those of the same demographic characteristics. That raises the question of whether demographic traits cause particular neural patterns. If so, then similar brain-activity patterns in friends would simply be the result of people with similar education levels, ethnicities, and other traits—perhaps including ideological beliefs, recreational interests, and cultural preferences—gravitating toward one another. In other words, maybe those traits made people friends, and the neural activity was secondary, a mere bystander to the actual cause.

The scientists knew they had to settle that, and they think they did. Wheatley and her colleagues used standard statistical techniques to measure whether neural patterns were a so-called independent variable, not a mere reflection of something else (such as a demographic variable). They were. Even when controlling for similarities in age, gender, nationality, and ethnicity, brain-activity patterns were more similar between friends than friends of friends and greater-degrees-of-separation friends. “All of these were less predictive of friendship than neural response,” Wheatley said.

There’s a chicken-and-egg problem, however: Which came first, clicking due to neural synchrony or friendship? “We can’t tease those two possibilities apart because our study looked at only one moment in time,” Wheatley said. “Only a longitudinal study could tell us” whether people seek out (probably unconsciously) those with similar neural patterns and become friends, or whether friendship causes people’s neural patterns to become more similar. She is conducting further studies to see whether shared experience drives neural similarity. In this case, people who are thrown together by forces beyond their control (like the roommate assignment lottery), and don’t initially see the world in the same way, come to do so and go on to adopt other people’s views.

Alternatively, “Maybe we look for people who are just like us in how they perceive and respond to the world, and find ourselves in an echo chamber,” Wheatley said. She also plans to study strangers, measure their neurological responses to video clips, and see if similarity predicts whether they become friends when they meet.

The emerging understanding of clicking might shed light on some social mysteries. People whose conversations with strangers and even acquaintances are riddled with awkward silences might have neural patterns that are out of sync with almost everyone else’s. They don’t find the same things interesting, their attention rarely lands where others’ does, and as a result they don’t click. (This describes some people on the autism spectrum, but clicking has not been specifically studied in this population.)

Short of connecting brains with electrodes to sync their activity, there might be a way to increase your chances of clicking. We feel more connected with people whose postures, vocal rhythms, facial expressions, and even eyeblinks match our own. Maybe clicking can be triggered from the outside in: Consciously sync the actions you can control—posture, expression, and the like—with other people’s, and your brain activity may follow. Click.

The complex things we do together—playing soccer, architecture, creating the internet, not to mention simply getting along—require us to quickly coordinate our actions. According to a paper in Trends in Cognitive Science in 2012 by Uri Hasson and colleagues, “Despite the central role of other individuals in shaping our minds, most cognitive studies focus on processes that occur within a single individual.” They called for a shift “from a single-brain to a multi-brain frame of reference.” They argued that we transmit signals that allow the neural processes in one brain to couple to those in another, creating a social network that leads to “complex joint behaviors that could not have emerged in isolation.”

This article was originally published in the August issue of Mindful magazine. Read the original article.

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The greatest acceleration that the human body is capable of has been revealed

Breaking news

The best works of the Film Science!

The best works of the Film Science!

Bhamla et al.

Thanks to a Marvel supervillain.

Research published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface, reported briefly by Live Science.

In Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War, supervillain Thanos snaps his fingers to wipe out half of life in the universe. According to a new study, he would not have been able to cause a disaster, or even make his gesture.

Scientists at Georgia Institute of Technology debated whether a metal-armored villain could snap his fingers, and led by Saad Bhamla, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, measured the speed and acceleration of the finger snap using high-speed cameras and state-of-the-art force sensors. Researchers have figured out what physical phenomena make gesture possible.

It turned out that snapping fingers has the greatest acceleration that the human body can develop.

The maximum rotational speed of the finger at the click is 7800 degrees per second, and the maximum rotational acceleration is 1. 6 million degrees per second squared, which is three times the acceleration of the hand of a professional baseball player.

“Finger snapping takes just seven milliseconds—20 times faster than the blink of an eye (150 milliseconds),” says Saad Bhamla.

To study the physics behind this gesture, the team captured the snapping of the fingers with a high-speed camera while covering the hand with various materials. The scientists fed the experimental data to a series of mathematical models and found the best physical explanation for the clicks—friction.

According to the study, during clicks, the muscles of the hand act as an engine that charges the tendons of the fingers and hands with potential energy. The latter is quickly released and creates incredible acceleration when clicked. Friction between the thumb and middle finger plays an important role, it presses the middle finger against the thumb and does not allow them to move. Once enough energy is built up, the friction is overcome and the fingers slide past each other.

To mimic the armor of Thanos, the scientists put metal thimbles on the fingertips of the test subjects. They provided too little friction, so a click was impossible. Also, metal armor compresses less well than leather, so the contact area to click is much smaller.

"Our results indicate that Thanos couldn't click because of his metal armored fingers," said first author Raghav Acharya, an undergraduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology. “So everything is explained by Hollywood special effects, not real physics!”

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Clicks in the headphones helped the elderly sleep

Swiss scientists found that clicking sounds within 60 decibels, played through headphones to the elderly during sleep, help to amplify slow waves which, in turn, positively affect the quality of sleep. They also determined that the difference in the effectiveness of acoustic exposure is most likely associated with a decrease in the duration and number of slow waves. The article was published in the journal Communications Medicine .

Sleep is an integral part of the life of any person, however, with age, the duration and quality of sleep decreases. In older people, sleep often becomes more shallow and fragmented, scientists attribute this to a decrease in slow waves, which are the dominant low-frequency (<4 Hertz) brain rhythms during non-REM sleep. It is believed that deep sleep is one of the most important stages of sleep, during which the body rests and recovers. Therefore, scientists have been studying strategies to improve deep sleep for a long time, for example, some studies show that exposure to various stimulations (most often acoustic) in a certain rhythm during sleep helps to increase slow wave activity, which, in turn, can improve sleep quality. .

However, no auditory sleep stimulation technology has proven to be a certified medical wearable device that can be used by the general public, including the elderly. This is largely due to the fact that to date there are no controlled randomized clinical trials that have studied the effect of auditory stimulation at home on sleep and daytime functioning in people of different ages.

A team of scientists led by Dr. Caroline Lustenberger of the University of Zurich developed a portable sleep monitoring device and slow wave feedback modulation and conducted a randomized cross-sectional study that examined the effect of ascending phase auditory stimulation on sleep and daytime well-being old people. For the experiment, 16 participants aged 60 to 80 years without diagnosed sleep disorders were selected. In addition, using basic audiometry, the researchers confirmed that volunteers can hear sound at a level of 50 decibels (each ear). All experiments were conducted remotely, that is, the participants continued to live their normal lives at home.

The first night was introductory, people got used to the device that continuously monitored the electrical activity of the owner's brain and recorded EEG (electroencephalograms), EOG (electrooculograms) and EMG (electromyograms). Further, over the course of four weeks, participants randomly received or did not receive auditory stimulation during deep sleep, while in one embodiment, auditory stimulation was applied continuously, and in the other, stimulation was turned on for 6 seconds with a break of 6 seconds.

As soon as the device detected slow waves during sleep, it emitted clicking sound signals through the in-ear headphones, depending on the stimulation option, the duration of the signal changed. To avoid awakening the participants, the volume of the audio signals was adapted to the depth of sleep and individual response to the stimulus (minimum 46 decibels, maximum 60 decibels).

After analyzing and filtering the recorded data, the scientists found that the sound effect did intensify the slow waves in some subjects, while it had little effect on others. It turned out that respondents who did not respond or reacted weakly to auditory stimulations were much older than those who were significantly affected by auditory stimulations.

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