One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A group of sycophantic followers.‘the President was surrounded by a claque of scheming bureaucrats’
- ‘How on earth could we have put this scheming, mendacious little man and his miserable claque back in office for another three years?’
- ‘In even earlier times, politicians - even party leaders - used to address open public meetings in their election campaigns, not just carefully screened, ticket-only claques.’
- ‘Still, with a sycophantic media claque in close support, his is the dominant voice in public discourse.’
- ‘He got clapped and cheered by the audience, or at least by the noisy loyalist claque who are dotted about the hall.’
- ‘And let us not forget the chilling spectacle of that State of the Union address, with the claque and brass popping up with applause at every stumbling word like so many automatons at a court masque for their Sun King.’
- ‘If you wrap your derision in the flag, you'll always have a claque of bootlickers eager to excuse whatever you do.’
2A group of people hired to applaud (or heckle) a performer or public speaker.
- ‘What Stravinsky leaves out, though is the fact that much of the booing was due to a claque that had been paid by enemies of the composer to disrupt the performance.’
- ‘No claque of paid liars can cheapen the sacrifice and nobility of the cause.’
- ‘Perhaps it was a claque: a paid band of willing clappers.’
- ‘This has been attributed to the workings of the claque of a rival singer; but whatever the truth of the matter, it was Albani's first and last appearance in that theatre.’
- ‘Visually and choreographically, the show is a snore, but you might be awakened by the hyperboisterous audience carrying on like a claque, which it may have been.’
Mid 19th century: French, from claquer ‘to clap’. The practice of paying members of an audience for their support originated at the Paris opera.
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