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1570, of imitative origin; Compare also Saterland Frisian Kloang, West Frisian klank, Dutch klank, German Klang (from klingen), Danish and Swedish klang, Latin clangere.



clang (plural clangs)

  1. A loud, ringing sound, like that made by free-hanging metal objects striking each other.
  2. Quality of tone.
  3. The cry of some birds, including the crane and the goose.
  4. (psychology, psychiatry) A word or phrase linked only by sound and not by meaning, characteristic of some mental disorders.
    • Oliver Sacks, Awakenings
      For much of this day, Mrs Y. wrote in her diary, covering page after page in a rapid scrawl full of paligraphic repetitions, puns, clangs, and violent, perseverative crossings-out []
  5. (music) Alternative form of klang



clang (third-person singular simple present clangs, present participle clanging, simple past and past participle clanged)

  1. (transitive) To strike (objects) together so as to produce a clang.
    • Prior
      The fierce Caretes [] clanged their sounding arms.
  2. (intransitive) To give out a clang; to resound.
    • 2015 May 25, Daniel Taylor, “Norwich reach Premier League after early blitz sees off Middlesbrough”, in The Guardian (London)[1]:
      Middlesbrough will wonder whether it might have been different if the volley that Jelle Vossen slashed towards John Ruddy’s net after nine minutes had been a couple inches lower rather than clanging off the crossbar. They should not dwell on that moment too long, however.
    • 1933, Norvell Page, Wings of the Black Death
      A cell door clanged metallically and Wentworth was flung inside. He tripped, collapsed upon the concrete floor.
    • 1920, Edith Wharton, chapter XXIX, in The Age of Innocence[2]:
      The clanging and groaning of the train came nearer, and it staggered slowly into the station like a prey- laden monster into its lair.
    • 1917, Rose Wilder Lane, Henry Ford’s Own Story
      Then the sparks flew from the anvil while the great hammer clanged on the metal, shaping it, and Henry begged to be allowed to try it

Derived terms[edit]