18th May 2020
Word Choice: Click vs. Clique
The words “click” and “clique” look and sound similar enough that people often get them mixed up. However, these are very different terms! To find out how to use them correctly in your writing, check out our guide below.
Click (A Short, Sharp Sound)
“Click” is a short word with several meanings! As a verb, these include:
- Making a short, sharp sound (e.g., She clicked her fingers to the beat)
- Pressing a button on a computer mouse (e.g., Double click the icon)
- Becoming friendly or popular (e.g., We clicked the first time we met)
- Suddenly being understood or clear (e.g., It clicked when I saw you)
As a noun, meanwhile, it can refer to:
- A short, sharp sound (e.g., The key made a click as it turned)
- The act of pressing a button on a mouse (e.g., You’re just a click away!)
In all cases, though, “click” is pronounced to rhyme with “lick” or “pick.”
Clique (An Exclusive Group of People)
A “clique” always refers to a small, exclusive group of people:
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I was never part of the cool clique at school.
It tends to imply a group that doesn’t welcome outsiders. Importantly, “clique” is always a noun (never a verb). Despite its similarities to “click,” this word rhymes with terms like “antique” or “unique,” with a long “ee” sound.
Summary: Click or Clique?
“Click” and “clique” look similar, but these terms have very different uses:
- Click has various meanings as a verb and a noun, but it usually refers to a short, sharp sound or the act of pressing a button on a computer mouse.
- Clique is always a noun that refers to a small, exclusive group.
And as long as you remember that a “clique” is always an exclusive group of people, you can confidently use “click” for any of the other definitions above! But if you’d like any help with the vocabulary or spelling in a document, don’t forget we have proofreaders available 24/7.
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