Main definitions of clap in English

: clap1clap2

clap1

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Strike the palms of (one's hands) together repeatedly, typically in order to applaud someone or something.

    ‘Agnes clapped her hands in glee’
    no object ‘the crowd was clapping and cheering’
    • ‘The crowd, while clapping their hands, also tapped their foot to the music, as the models pranced around showing off the jewellery.’
    • ‘In fact, they didn't speak a word till it was over and once it was over, they clapped.’
    • ‘Once inside, audience members were clapping, singing, tapping their hands and feet, and moving to the rhythm.’
    • ‘We all clapped politely and a wave of whispers went through the crowd.’
    • ‘Everyone clapped for joy and Mr. Grint began cutting pieces for everyone to eat.’
    • ‘She was dancing around the room, clapping with glee.’
    • ‘People were clapping in time to the beat.’
    • ‘And once everyone began clapping, they couldn't bring themselves to stop.’
    • ‘The audience clapped loudly at the end of the lecture.’
    • ‘The crowd claps loudly and doesn't end till Cliff comes on stage.’
    • ‘And they clapped politely when we scored, instead of screaming at the referee!’
    • ‘Blake pointed at the King and once more the audience clapped and cheered, satisfied by his choice.’
    • ‘Cary clapped in appreciation, and found that others on the beach were cheering as well.’
    • ‘The couple clapped with the rest of the room as the band finished the first song.’
    • ‘The older students clapped enthusiastically while the newcomer were still a bit hesitant, confused.’
    • ‘The crowd cheered, whistling and clapping their hands.’
    • ‘People clapped again and they began to play the music.’
    • ‘The crowd clapped their hands and stomped their feet.’
    • ‘He goes into a long Bush-bashing tirade, and we see the audience cracking up and clapping.’
    • ‘The audience clapped loudly as more flashes were made by the parents' cameras.’
    applaud, clap one's hands, give someone a round of applause, put one's hands together
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    1. 1.1 Show approval of (a person or action) by clapping.
      ‘Louisa clapped his performance’
      • ‘In a rare display of enthusiasm, they clapped the Liberal Democrat spokesman, who called for an outright ban.’
      • ‘Then strolled out of the airport with my cousin who was clapping me on my performance.’
      • ‘He beamed - and the prime minister looked like a man having to clap his chief rival for much longer than he found comfortable.’
      • ‘Carlow's rugby coach emphasised on how even their beaten teams were clapped off the field, and how the players appreciated the support.’
      • ‘Both sets of fans clapped the players at the end.’
      • ‘With a great sense of irony - and no little spontaneous fun - the City players, as one, ran to the empty end and clapped their absent friends from the north.’
      • ‘I watched him on stage with the band in Moy in Tyrone last week and he was clapped for every song.’
      • ‘He makes sick children or elderly patients laugh and ends up with everyone clapping him.’
      • ‘He was clapped through the Ribble Valley by residents who came out of their cottages and farmhouses to wave at the bus.’
      • ‘In fact, it is a miracle those fans clapped their team at all.’
      • ‘The whips were the first out, running, hyped up, clapping the prime minister as the doors opened and looking as if they were coming out of the tunnel and on to the pitch for battle.’
      • ‘What is more concerning is a member who claps his leader when he says he will get tough on crime and build more prisons, and opposes a prison when it is to be built in his own electorate.’
      • ‘His father Gordon, a former York City star, asked the congregation to stand for a minute to applaud and clap Thomas, and ‘say thank you for knowing him’.’
      • ‘He even had one or two on the other side of the House clapping him at the end of his presentation.’
      • ‘Cars hooted approval, crowds cheered and clapped the heroes.’
      • ‘What no-one has asked yet is, why is the President speaking the next day, and will everyone be lining up to clap him?’
      • ‘I was clapped afterwards anyway and Pedro smiled and kissed me.’
      • ‘Afterwards there was a small reception party of supporters at the door of the Kildare dressing room, to clap the returning players in from their warm-down.’
      • ‘If Maurice missed a free he was clapped but more than often he answered hecklers by putting the ball over the bar.’
      • ‘But I tell the doctor that as his members are clapping him, they are busy planning his downfall.’
      applaud, clap one's hands, give someone a round of applause, put one's hands together
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    2. 1.2 Strike the palms of (one's hands) together once, especially as a signal.
      ‘the teacher clapped his hands to restore discipline’
      • ‘The door clicked shut behind her, and she clapped her hands once to activate the lights.’
      • ‘Just then, Mr Tokmier clapped his hands, signaling the end of the discussion.’
      • ‘Maybe you should clap your hands once and knock your heels together three times.’
      • ‘He clapped his hands once and two beefy dragons came in, dragging Beylaan in, tied and gagged.’
      • ‘My mother clapped her hands once, very loudly, to make sure we were listening.’
      • ‘He laughed happily, clapping his hands once before taking a deep gulp of his coke.’
      • ‘Mrs. Stanley clapped her hands as a signal for them to start.’
      • ‘He clapped his hands once, and as one troll gripped me, the other punched me hard in the side.’
      • ‘He clapped his hands once more and serving men and women, after kneeling, came forward with a table and refreshments.’
      • ‘Mr. Yu clapped his hands to signal his butler to come into the room.’
      • ‘Andy joined in at the last minute and clapped her hands together once.’
      • ‘She gestured to the pillows next to her, for him to sit, sitting herself down and clapping her hands once, for her serving women to bring goblets, and drink.’
      • ‘She smirked a bit, and clapped her hands once more as she rose from her kneeling position and bowed to the idol.’
      • ‘He passed out the ribbons and then clapped his hands once.’
      • ‘Anna clapped her hands together once.’
      • ‘Although different methods have been tried in the past, the current rules call for the referee to clap once with arms outstretched in front.’
      • ‘‘I think it is time that you leave this ignorant state’ she clapped her hands once.’
      • ‘She clapped her hands once, and ropes appeared out of thin air and twisted themselves around the men.’
      • ‘Once he was done, he turned around and clapped his hands once.’
      • ‘I said it's probably one of those clapper lights - if you clap you turn it on.’
    3. 1.3 (of a bird) flap (its wings) audibly.
      ‘the hawk shook itself and clapped its wings’
      • ‘Big sodden bales sat in the small high-hedged fresh-cut fields, a pigeon clapped in the alders and misty rain filled a steel grey sky.’
      • ‘At the sound, the birds rise from their night places; they clap their wide, black wings and settle again.’
      flap, beat, flutter
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  • 2Slap (someone) encouragingly on the back or shoulder.

    ‘as they parted, he clapped Owen on the back’
    • ‘They all wanted to congratulate him and clap him on the back, not really understanding why he was running away from Tabitha.’
    • ‘He didn't expect people to be running around clapping him on the back.’
    • ‘He stuffed the wallet back into Cale's pocket and clapped him on the shoulder.’
    • ‘Back in my seat I was clapped on the shoulder by several boys.’
    • ‘He clapped me on the back and turned to embrace his sister.’
    • ‘Finally I broke down and grinned, clapping him on the shoulder.’
    • ‘Lee strolled over and clapped me on the shoulder, shaking me out of the daze I was drifting in.’
    • ‘Wyatt nodded sympathetically, clapping him on the shoulder.’
    • ‘Suddenly someone came up behind me and clapped me on the shoulder.’
    • ‘He reached up, clapping me on the shoulder, oddly bridging the awkward distance in height.’
    • ‘She smiled and clapped me on the shoulder before walking away.’
    • ‘With a crooked smile, he claps Doug on the shoulder.’
    • ‘Michael glanced almost nervously at James, who smiled and clapped him on the shoulder.’
    • ‘McGinley clapped me on the shoulder, escorting me out of the building.’
    • ‘The men laughed and clapped him on the shoulder.’
    • ‘Blair laughed lightly and reached out, clapping Jim on the shoulder.’
    • ‘So very, very, quietly… Drew claps Emily on the shoulder.’
    • ‘He laughed heartily and clapped the boy's shoulder with vigor.’
    • ‘People rushed over to clap Jeff on the back, hug Bethany, and congratulate the both of them.’
    • ‘The big guy laughed and playfully clapped Adam on the shoulder.’
    slap, strike, hit, smack, crack, bang, thump, cuff
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    1. 2.1 Place (a hand) briefly against or over one's mouth or forehead as a gesture of dismay or regret.
      ‘he swore and clapped a hand to his forehead’
      • ‘She was grabbed again from behind and this time a big, scaly, clawed hand was clapped over her mouth.’
      • ‘Then she started with a loud gasp, pulled her hand out of his, and tried to sit up while clapping her hand against her forehead at the same time.’
      • ‘She snorted, clapping a hand over her mouth to keep herself from giggling out loud.’
      • ‘At the sanctuary someone claps a hand across her mouth, pulls her away.’
      • ‘Clay hiccuped loudly and clapped his hand over his mouth.’
      • ‘Kylie gasped, clapping her hand to her mouth, when she heard the news.’
      • ‘Another hand was clapped over his mouth, muffling the sound.’
      • ‘I jumped up and down, clapping my hands over my mouth.’
      • ‘Lydia let a out a giggle before clapping her hand over her mouth, and glancing around to make sure no one had heard.’
      • ‘You clap your hand to your forehead and trot back upstairs to change into a pair of jeans.’
      • ‘I groaned to my brother while clapping a hand to my forehead.’
      • ‘I clapped my hand over my mouth, immediately sorry for yelling.’
      • ‘He paused, and caught an arrow in midair, inches from Salyn's face; she inhaled sharply in surprise, clapping a hand over her mouth.’
      • ‘Ian sat straight up in bed, clapped his hand to his forehead.’
      • ‘Maura let out a nervous guffaw before clapping her hand over her mouth again, keeping her giggles silent.’
      • ‘I give a short yell of exasperation, which is muffled as Jessie claps a hand over my mouth.’
      • ‘Aaewin asked without thinking, clapping her hands over her mouth after the words escaped.’
      • ‘Conch was just barely able to prevent her laughter from loudly escaping by clapping her hands over her mouth.’
      • ‘When she hears a baby's soft whimper, Daphne claps a hand over her mouth to stifle a gasp of surprise.’
      slap, strike, hit, smack, crack, bang, thump, cuff
      View synonyms

noun

  • 1An act of striking together the palms of the hands.

    ‘when they stop I give them a clap’
    ‘there was no crescendo of applause, just a lone volley of claps’
    round of applause, hand, handclap
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A friendly slap or pat on the back or shoulder.
      • ‘His heart nearly jumped out of his chest when a hand suddenly descended on his shoulder with a loud clap.’
      • ‘Feeling the claps of a hand on his shoulder Ben turned and could not resist a smile as Jack took out his trademark deck of cards and shuffled it in mid air.’
      • ‘Bill Hogan designed it and he really does deserve a clap on the back.’
      • ‘With a clap on the shoulder for me and a kiss for Willow, he went to bed.’
      • ‘Ally stood up and gave Brian a clap on the shoulder.’
      • ‘Sam snivelled and nodded, earning himself a clap on the shoulder.’
      • ‘As he was about to get to the part of fighting, when he felt a strong clap on the back of his shoulder.’
      • ‘This announcement earned him a smile and a clap on the shoulder before Aurelio began chopping the potatoes into neat little cubes.’
      • ‘He gave me a soft clap on the shoulder, which nearly sent me tumbling to the floor.’
      • ‘Mark gave him a friendly clap on the shoulder, ‘ah, don't worry about it, you'll find out sooner or later right?’’
      • ‘More than the traditional acknowledgement - a clap on the back - which usually went to sponsors in the past.’
      • ‘She smiled, giving both of them a friendly clap on the shoulder.’
      • ‘There came a hearty clap on my shoulder and I half-turned to come face to face with a ruddy-complexioned bloke about my own age, perhaps a little less.’
      • ‘Those involved would be the first to accept a clap on the back if they had won.’
      • ‘‘This is a gesture done for reassurance and a sort of transfer of strength,’ he said, demonstrating the shoulder clap again.’
      • ‘At his age I'd say he deserved a massive clap on the back.’
      • ‘With a friendly clap on the back, he sent Josh over to a group of elderly gentlemen, who all happily shook Josh's hand.’
      slap, blow, smack, crack, thump, cuff
      View synonyms
  • 2An explosive sound, especially of thunder.

    ‘a clap of thunder echoed through the valley’
    • ‘Eric said: ‘There was a clap of thunder and that was the last I saw of her.’’
    • ‘The showers continued on and off all evening and we had some of the loudest claps of thunder we've ever witnessed.’
    • ‘About three this morning, though, I was woken by heavy rain on the window, quickly followed by a massive clap of thunder as the good weather finally broke.’
    • ‘Before the two could get on with their innocent, child-like play, however, a loud clap of thunder echoed throughout the skies, which had turned dark from a while ago.’
    • ‘There was a strained silence for a while and then in the distance there was a clap of thunder.’
    • ‘‘Okay, great,’ I mumbled to my empty room, but the sound of my voice was drowned out by a loud clap of thunder.’
    • ‘I ran out of the shop and as I did so there was a loud clap of thunder and a flash of lightning.’
    • ‘Just as I was about to power up the mower, there was a clap of thunder and the rain started.’
    • ‘Five minutes ago I was sitting here and was blinded by a white light which was followed by the loudest clap of thunder I've heard for a few years.’
    • ‘Sometime around 2 a.m. a loud clap of thunder awakened me.’
    • ‘But a mid-afternoon clap of thunder and the presence of dark, rainy skies sent this reporter scurrying for the safety of his car.’
    • ‘‘At the front desk we heard the explosion starting like a clap of thunder and then it kept rolling,’ she said.’
    • ‘You'll also love when storms come, because the crashes and claps of thunder and lightning, not to mention the downpour of rain, will be enough to make you want to seek cover for yourself until the tempest subsides.’
    • ‘All of a sudden, a clap of thunder roared in their ears, jolting them back into the world of the living.’
    • ‘A clap of thunder echoed around, making me jump.’
    • ‘Suddenly, there was a loud clap of thunder, followed by a low rumbling that shook the house.’
    • ‘A second later, the sky is split by lightning that illuminates the hillside, followed by an earsplitting clap.’
    • ‘Just then there was a deafening clap of thunder.’
    • ‘When I got off the train there was a clap of thunder and a flash of lightening.’
    • ‘A loud clap of thunder sounded and rain could be heard pelting against the roof.’
    crack, crash, bang, boom
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Phrases

  • clap eyes on

  • clap hold of

    • informal Grab someone or something roughly or abruptly.

      • ‘The men, without saying a word, clapped hold of him and marched him off.’
  • clap someone in jail (or irons)

    • Put someone in prison (or in chains)

      ‘the ship's captain had the mutineers clapped in irons’
      • ‘The new king was able to clap two members of his father's ageing Council in the Tower before handing them over to the axe.’
      • ‘If you even think about forming a labor union, you'll be clapped in irons.’
      • ‘He may as well have clapped me in irons and commenced flogging in front of the herds of law-abiding legal visitors.’
      • ‘A group of officers descends on him, reads the arrest warrant, puts a bag over his head, and claps him in cuffs.’
      • ‘There are no rehabilitation homes here and the police certainly cannot clap small children in jail just because they ask for money.’
      • ‘A cynical immigration official claps James in jail upon his arrival.’
      • ‘The dissident has said he aims to run for president against 24-year incumbent, although the president clapped him in jail for a lesser act of defiance only a few years ago.’
      • ‘The Parliamentarians were clapped in irons and taken away to Oxford to gaol.’
      fling, cast, put, place
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Phrasal Verbs

  • clap something on

    • Abruptly impose a restrictive or punitive measure.

      ‘most countries clapped on tariffs to protect their farmers’
      • ‘Along busy streets, bright signs for Coke, Pepsi, Citibank, Bell South, Papa John's, KFC, Marriott - even Starbucks - could vanish if Peru chose to clap tariffs on those products.’
      fling, cast, put, place
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Origin

Old English clappan ‘throb, beat’, of imitative origin. clap (sense 1 of the verb) dates from late Middle English.

Pronunciation

clap

/klap/

Main definitions of clap in English

: clap1clap2

clap2

noun

mass nounusually the clap
informal
  • A venereal disease, especially gonorrhoea.

    ‘she has given him the clap’
    ‘he was told he had a mild dose of clap’

Origin

Late 16th century: from Old French clapoir ‘venereal bubo’.

Pronunciation

clap

/klap/