Definition of clapper in English:



  • The tongue or striker of a bell.

    • ‘It's a bin full of clappers ripped from their bells.’
    • ‘In fact the clapper extends beyond the mouth of the bell and, rather than a handle, has a pierced peg argent, means that it would originally have been suspended.’
    • ‘The clapper was a clear blue, sapphire about an inch long, dangling a tiny bit from the bell itself.’
    • ‘Small cast bells that never had a clapper fitted inside were possibly worn to help to ‘announce’ the presence of the wearer.’
    • ‘If your foot can jiggle around inside the skates while you hold your foot up (like a clapper in a bell), then they're too large.’
    • ‘They will now be taken to Nottingham, where the bells and the clappers themselves will be refurbished.’
    • ‘At the bottom of the bell, a white silhouette of a boy holds a rope entwined to the clapper.’
    • ‘The town crier, in trying to ring out the Prince's arrival, found the clapper of his bell stuck fast.’
    • ‘Leonardo, meanwhile, was making notes on a church bell, ‘the way it moved and how its clapper was fastened‘.’
    • ‘A figure grasps the hose, swings back and forth like the clapper of a bell and finally bounds high above the floor.’
    • ‘These aren't actual bells, with actual metal clappers, like the ones I remember from my days in Wisconsin.’
    • ‘Magister Rumbold Crucible woke up feeling that someone had been using his head as a bell clapper which, he groggily reasoned, probably accounted for the sickening swaying sensation as well.’
    • ‘Mr Grantham said: ‘Our bell is made of bronze, weighs about 25 kilogram and still has its original clapper.’’
    • ‘The soldier's fiancé had climbed into the belfry and clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking.’
    • ‘I drew forth the bell Meryth had given me, and gently let the clapper fall against the bronze wall of it.’
    • ‘The bells are not swung as in change-ringing but are struck by pulling their clappers or moving external hammers, with a simple mechanical action using trackers and wires.’
    • ‘It's just too big,’ says Adam, as he gently pushes the clapper until it just touches the bell, producing a deep, sonorous rumble.’
    • ‘Before the advent of batteries or electricity bell pushes were always dome shaped and had a clockwork mechanism that activated a clapper, which struck the inside of the dome.’
    • ‘Sadly their belated participation in the event was short lived - the bell's clapper fell off within minutes.’
    • ‘Pilgrims in white scatter rose petals at the foot of four-faced, silver-eyed statues of Brahma, while old people sun themselves in the courtyard, banging clappers and ringing bells.’


  • like the clappers

    • informal Very fast or very hard.

      ‘she ran off like the clappers’
      • ‘Parents, pupils, governors and staff worked like the clappers throughout the school's centenary year in 2002 to raise money to pay for the refurbishment of the original school calling bell.’
      • ‘It was really good money and we just used to go like the clappers to get the job done as quickly as possible.’
      • ‘The competitive instinct came to the fore, and I caught him, passed him, and then of course had to keep going like the clappers for the next three miles so he didn't pass me again.’
      • ‘All of you, when I say so, lift this on top of the photocopier, and prepare to run like the clappers.’
      • ‘Whether it was the danger or the steep climb, my heart was going like the clappers when I got to the church.’
      • ‘He didn't tell me he was departing, and he was going like the clappers.’
      • ‘The windscreen wipers are going like the clappers, their constant thwack/thwack reminding me of Janet Leigh driving through the torrential rain in Psycho, just before she checks out forever.’
      • ‘Then she'll drive like the clappers and be so charming when she gets there that everyone forgives her.’
      • ‘But there is far more to his game than just running like the clappers.’
      • ‘An hour later, we had picked up speed, and I was still alive, so I thought it was safe to emerge from the sweaty depths of my hiding place, though my heart was still going like the clappers.’
      quickly, fast, swiftly, speedily, at speed, at full speed, at the speed of light, post-haste, hotfoot, at full tilt, as fast as one's legs can carry one, at a gallop, expeditiously, briskly, promptly
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