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.

    ‘Agnes clapped her hands in glee’
    no object ‘the crowd was clapping and cheering’
    • ‘The couple clapped with the rest of the room as the band finished the first song.’
    • ‘And once everyone began clapping, they couldn't bring themselves to stop.’
    • ‘She was dancing around the room, clapping with glee.’
    • ‘The crowd claps loudly and doesn't end till Cliff comes on stage.’
    • ‘Cary clapped in appreciation, and found that others on the beach were cheering as well.’
    • ‘And they clapped politely when we scored, instead of screaming at the referee!’
    • ‘The crowd cheered, whistling and clapping their hands.’
    • ‘Everyone clapped for joy and Mr. Grint began cutting pieces for everyone to eat.’
    • ‘The crowd, while clapping their hands, also tapped their foot to the music, as the models pranced around showing off the jewellery.’
    • ‘The audience clapped loudly as more flashes were made by the parents' cameras.’
    • ‘People clapped again and they began to play the music.’
    • ‘We all clapped politely and a wave of whispers went through the crowd.’
    • ‘The crowd clapped their hands and stomped their feet.’
    • ‘Once inside, audience members were clapping, singing, tapping their hands and feet, and moving to the rhythm.’
    • ‘The audience clapped loudly at the end of the lecture.’
    • ‘The older students clapped enthusiastically while the newcomer were still a bit hesitant, confused.’
    • ‘In fact, they didn't speak a word till it was over and once it was over, they clapped.’
    • ‘People were clapping in time to the beat.’
    • ‘He goes into a long Bush-bashing tirade, and we see the audience cracking up and clapping.’
    • ‘Blake pointed at the King and once more the audience clapped and cheered, satisfied by his choice.’
    applaud, clap one's hands, give someone a round of applause, put one's hands together
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Show approval of (a person or action) by clapping.
      • ‘Both sets of fans clapped the players at the end.’
      • ‘He beamed - and the prime minister looked like a man having to clap his chief rival for much longer than he found comfortable.’
      • ‘I watched him on stage with the band in Moy in Tyrone last week and he was clapped for every song.’
      • ‘Cars hooted approval, crowds cheered and clapped the heroes.’
      • ‘He even had one or two on the other side of the House clapping him at the end of his presentation.’
      • ‘Carlow's rugby coach emphasised on how even their beaten teams were clapped off the field, and how the players appreciated the support.’
      • ‘I was clapped afterwards anyway and Pedro smiled and kissed me.’
      • ‘He makes sick children or elderly patients laugh and ends up with everyone clapping him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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’.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In fact, it is a miracle those fans clapped their team at all.’
      • ‘But I tell the doctor that as his members are clapping him, they are busy planning his downfall.’
      • ‘He was clapped through the Ribble Valley by residents who came out of their cottages and farmhouses to wave at the bus.’
      • ‘What no-one has asked yet is, why is the President speaking the next day, and will everyone be lining up to clap him?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If Maurice missed a free he was clapped but more than often he answered hecklers by putting the ball over the bar.’
      • ‘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.’
      applaud, clap one's hands, give someone a round of applause, put one's hands together
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Strike the palms of (one's hands) together once, especially as a signal.
      ‘the teacher clapped his hands to restore discipline’
      • ‘Mrs. Stanley clapped her hands as a signal for them to start.’
      • ‘He passed out the ribbons and then clapped his hands once.’
      • ‘She smirked a bit, and clapped her hands once more as she rose from her kneeling position and bowed to the idol.’
      • ‘‘I think it is time that you leave this ignorant state’ she clapped her hands once.’
      • ‘He clapped his hands once more and serving men and women, after kneeling, came forward with a table and refreshments.’
      • ‘Once he was done, he turned around and clapped his hands once.’
      • ‘Maybe you should clap your hands once and knock your heels together three times.’
      • ‘My mother clapped her hands once, very loudly, to make sure we were listening.’
      • ‘She clapped her hands once, and ropes appeared out of thin air and twisted themselves around the men.’
      • ‘He laughed happily, clapping his hands once before taking a deep gulp of his coke.’
      • ‘Just then, Mr Tokmier clapped his hands, signaling the end of the discussion.’
      • ‘He clapped his hands once, and as one troll gripped me, the other punched me hard in the side.’
      • ‘Mr. Yu clapped his hands to signal his butler to come into the room.’
      • ‘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 said it's probably one of those clapper lights - if you clap you turn it on.’
      • ‘He clapped his hands once and two beefy dragons came in, dragging Beylaan in, tied and gagged.’
      • ‘Andy joined in at the last minute and clapped her hands together once.’
      • ‘The door clicked shut behind her, and she clapped her hands once to activate the lights.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3 Slap (someone) encouragingly on the back or shoulder.
      ‘as they parted, he clapped Owen on the back’
      • ‘He clapped me on the back and turned to embrace his sister.’
      • ‘With a crooked smile, he claps Doug on the shoulder.’
      • ‘Blair laughed lightly and reached out, clapping Jim on the shoulder.’
      • ‘Wyatt nodded sympathetically, clapping him on the shoulder.’
      • ‘People rushed over to clap Jeff on the back, hug Bethany, and congratulate the both of them.’
      • ‘Finally I broke down and grinned, clapping him on the shoulder.’
      • ‘She smiled and clapped me on the shoulder before walking away.’
      • ‘He stuffed the wallet back into Cale's pocket and clapped him on the shoulder.’
      • ‘Michael glanced almost nervously at James, who smiled and clapped him on the shoulder.’
      • ‘He reached up, clapping me on the shoulder, oddly bridging the awkward distance in height.’
      • ‘The men laughed and clapped him on the shoulder.’
      • ‘So very, very, quietly… Drew claps Emily on the shoulder.’
      • ‘Suddenly someone came up behind me and clapped me on the shoulder.’
      • ‘They all wanted to congratulate him and clap him on the back, not really understanding why he was running away from Tabitha.’
      • ‘Back in my seat I was clapped on the shoulder by several boys.’
      • ‘McGinley clapped me on the shoulder, escorting me out of the building.’
      • ‘He laughed heartily and clapped the boy's shoulder with vigor.’
      • ‘He didn't expect people to be running around clapping him on the back.’
      • ‘The big guy laughed and playfully clapped Adam on the shoulder.’
      • ‘Lee strolled over and clapped me on the shoulder, shaking me out of the daze I was drifting in.’
      slap, strike, hit, smack, crack, bang, thump, cuff
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 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’
      • ‘Clay hiccuped loudly and clapped his hand over his mouth.’
      • ‘You clap your hand to your forehead and trot back upstairs to change into a pair of jeans.’
      • ‘At the sanctuary someone claps a hand across her mouth, pulls her away.’
      • ‘Lydia let a out a giggle before clapping her hand over her mouth, and glancing around to make sure no one had heard.’
      • ‘Aaewin asked without thinking, clapping her hands over her mouth after the words escaped.’
      • ‘When she hears a baby's soft whimper, Daphne claps a hand over her mouth to stifle a gasp of surprise.’
      • ‘I groaned to my brother while clapping a hand to my forehead.’
      • ‘She was grabbed again from behind and this time a big, scaly, clawed hand was clapped over her mouth.’
      • ‘Another hand was clapped over his mouth, muffling the sound.’
      • ‘Conch was just barely able to prevent her laughter from loudly escaping by clapping her hands over her mouth.’
      • ‘I give a short yell of exasperation, which is muffled as Jessie claps a hand over my 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.’
      • ‘Kylie gasped, clapping her hand to her mouth, when she heard the news.’
      • ‘She snorted, clapping a hand over her mouth to keep herself from giggling out loud.’
      • ‘He paused, and caught an arrow in midair, inches from Salyn's face; she inhaled sharply in surprise, clapping a hand over her mouth.’
      • ‘I jumped up and down, clapping my hands over my mouth.’
      • ‘I clapped my hand over my mouth, immediately sorry for yelling.’
      • ‘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.’
      slap, strike, hit, smack, crack, bang, thump, cuff
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5 (of a bird) flap (its wings) audibly.
      • ‘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
      View synonyms

noun

  • 1An act of striking together the palms of the hands, either once or repeatedly.

    round of applause, hand, handclap
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A friendly slap or pat on the back or shoulder.
      • ‘With a friendly clap on the back, he sent Josh over to a group of elderly gentlemen, who all happily shook Josh's hand.’
      • ‘He gave me a soft clap on the shoulder, which nearly sent me tumbling to the floor.’
      • ‘With a clap on the shoulder for me and a kiss for Willow, he went to bed.’
      • ‘This announcement earned him a smile and a clap on the shoulder before Aurelio began chopping the potatoes into neat little cubes.’
      • ‘Those involved would be the first to accept a clap on the back if they had won.’
      • ‘Sam snivelled and nodded, earning himself a 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.’
      • ‘At his age I'd say he deserved a massive clap on the back.’
      • ‘More than the traditional acknowledgement - a clap on the back - which usually went to sponsors in the past.’
      • ‘‘This is a gesture done for reassurance and a sort of transfer of strength,’ he said, demonstrating the shoulder clap again.’
      • ‘She smiled, giving both of them a friendly 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.’
      • ‘Bill Hogan designed it and he really does deserve a clap on the back.’
      • ‘Mark gave him a friendly clap on the shoulder, ‘ah, don't worry about it, you'll find out sooner or later right?’’
      • ‘Ally stood up and gave Brian a clap on the shoulder.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His heart nearly jumped out of his chest when a hand suddenly descended on his shoulder with a loud clap.’
      slap, blow, smack, crack, thump, cuff
      View synonyms
  • 2An explosive sound, especially of thunder.

    ‘a clap of thunder echoed through the valley’
    • ‘There was a strained silence for a while and then in the distance there was a clap of thunder.’
    • ‘Sometime around 2 a.m. a loud clap of thunder awakened me.’
    • ‘I ran out of the shop and as I did so there was a loud clap of thunder and a flash of lightning.’
    • ‘All of a sudden, a clap of thunder roared in their ears, jolting them back into the world of the living.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Suddenly, there was a loud clap of thunder, followed by a low rumbling that shook the house.’
    • ‘The showers continued on and off all evening and we had some of the loudest claps of thunder we've ever witnessed.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘At the front desk we heard the explosion starting like a clap of thunder and then it kept rolling,’ she said.’
    • ‘A second later, the sky is split by lightning that illuminates the hillside, followed by an earsplitting clap.’
    • ‘A loud clap of thunder sounded and rain could be heard pelting against the roof.’
    • ‘‘Okay, great,’ I mumbled to my empty room, but the sound of my voice was drowned out by a loud clap of thunder.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But a mid-afternoon clap of thunder and the presence of dark, rainy skies sent this reporter scurrying for the safety of his car.’
    • ‘Eric said: ‘There was a clap of thunder and that was the last I saw of her.’’
    • ‘A clap of thunder echoed around, making me jump.’
    • ‘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.’
    crack, crash, bang, boom
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • clap eyes on

  • clap someone in jail (or irons)

    • Put someone in prison (or in chains).

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are no rehabilitation homes here and the police certainly cannot clap small children in jail just because they ask for money.’
      • ‘The Parliamentarians were clapped in irons and taken away to Oxford to gaol.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A group of officers descends on him, reads the arrest warrant, puts a bag over his head, and claps him in cuffs.’
      • ‘He may as well have clapped me in irons and commenced flogging in front of the herds of law-abiding legal visitors.’
      • ‘A cynical immigration official claps James in jail upon his arrival.’
      fling, cast, put, place
      View synonyms

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
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

clap

/klap//klæp/

Main definitions of clap in English

: clap1clap2

clap2

noun

usually the clap
informal
  • A venereal disease, especially gonorrhea.

Origin

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

Pronunciation

clap

/klap//klæp/