Definition of Clojure

Clojure is a modern, dynamic, and functional programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It is a dialect of Lisp and was created by Rich Hickey in 2007. Clojure emphasizes immutability, concurrency, and simplicity, making it a popular choice for developing robust, scalable applications.


The phonetics of the keyword “Clojure” can be represented as: /ˈkloʊ.ʒər/

Key Takeaways

  1. Clojure is a functional programming language, built on top of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), that facilitates and encourages immutable data structures, recursion, and higher-order functions.
  2. It emphasizes simplicity and consistency, making it easier to write elegant and maintainable code by utilizing Lisp’s expressive syntax and homoiconicity (code as data and data as code).
  3. Clojure seamlessly integrates with existing Java code and libraries, providing developers with the strength of Java’s ecosystem and the expressiveness of the Clojure language, enabling rapid development and robustness.

Importance of Clojure

Clojure is an important technology term because it is a modern, functional, and dynamic programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), providing seamless integration with Java libraries and infrastructure.

Designed by Rich Hickey, Clojure emphasizes the use of immutable data structures, making it particularly suited for concurrent and parallel programming, as it reduces the complexity and potential for errors inherent in mutable state management.

The language is highly expressive and allows for the creation of powerful abstractions, thereby promoting maintainable and robust code.

Additionally, Clojure’s support for macro systems enables developers to extend the language and avoid repetitive patterns.

Its growing popularity among developers and utilization in various industries such as finance, artificial intelligence, and web development showcases its significance in the technology landscape.


Clojure is a modern, functional programming language designed to simplify the challenges associated with complex software development, particularly in the realm of concurrency and state management. As a dialect of the Lisp programming language, it shares Lisp’s code-as-data philosophy, which enables powerful metaprogramming capabilities. Clojure’s main purpose is to empower developers to create robust, scalable, and maintainable software by providing them with immutable data structures, first-class functions, and an emphasis on immutability.

The language’s ability to run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and interoperate smoothly with Java libraries grants its users access to the rich ecosystem of existing Java tools and resources, thus facilitating seamless integration with existing infrastructure. Clojure is widely used in various domains, such as web development, data analysis, and artificial intelligence. Its support for concurrent and parallel programming has garnered popularity among developers working on distributed systems, where managing shared mutable states becomes increasingly complex.

Moreover, Clojure’s syntax is geared towards the concise expression of complex algorithms and data manipulation tasks, making it a natural fit for data-driven applications. Some high-profile organizations leveraging Clojure to build their software systems include Walmart, Netflix, and Puppet. By offering a succinct syntax, a strong emphasis on functional programming, and excellent Java interoperability, Clojure empowers developers to tackle contemporary software challenges effectively and efficiently.

Examples of Clojure

Clojure is a functional programming language that primarily targets the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and emphasizes simplicity, immutability, and easy concurrency. Here are three real-world examples of its usage:

Walmart Labs:Walmart Labs, the technology arm of the retail giant Walmart, uses Clojure extensively in its e-commerce platform, which powers One of their reasons for choosing Clojure was the ability to build and deploy microservices and APIs quickly at scale, which is essential for handling’s massive traffic and variety of products.

Nubank:Nubank, the largest financial technology company in Latin America, primarily uses Clojure and Datomic for developing their main banking services, including their mobile application. By using Clojure for backend and ClojureScript for the frontend, Nubank was able to streamline their development while benefiting from the language’s functional paradigms, performance, and multi-threading support.

Funding Circle:Funding Circle is a leading online marketplace for business loans that connects businesses in need of loans to investors. They use Clojure for processing loan applications and managing investment portfolios. The adoption of Clojure allowed Funding Circle to handle large volumes of loan applications and leverage the strong support for parallelism and concurrency offered by the language in order to facilitate seamless data processing and decision making.

FAQ about Clojure

1. What is Clojure?

Clojure is a modern, functional, and dynamic programming language for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) designed to be expressive and easy to use. It is a dialect of Lisp and combines the approachability and interactive development of a scripting language with an efficient and robust infrastructure for multithreaded programming.

2. Why should I use Clojure?

Clojure has a number of benefits, including its concise syntax, its integration with the extensive Java ecosystem, and its focus on immutability and functional programming. These features make it both powerful and flexible, making it an ideal choice for complex and demanding applications.

3. How do I get started with Clojure?

To get started with Clojure, you’ll need to download and install the Clojure runtime and tools by following the instructions on the official website ( Once you have installed Clojure, you can use a text editor or an integrated development environment (IDE) like Cursive, Emacs with Cider, or VSCode with Calva to write and execute Clojure code.

4. What are some popular Clojure libraries?

There are many powerful libraries available for Clojure, some of which include:

  • Ring – a web application library
  • Compojure – a routing library for Ring
  • Reagent – a ClojureScript interface for React
  • Core.async – a library for asynchronous and concurrent programming
  • Leiningen – a build and dependency management tool

5. Is Clojure suitable for web development?

Yes, Clojure is a great choice for web development. With libraries like Ring, Compojure, and Reagent, developing web applications in Clojure is both enjoyable and productive. Additionally, you can leverage the power of ClojureScript to write client-side code, allowing you to use a single language for both the frontend and backend of your application.

Related Technology Terms

  • Lisp
  • Functional Programming
  • Concurrency
  • Immutable Data Structures
  • JVM (Java Virtual Machine)

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms