[ klap ]
See synonyms for: clapclapping on

verb (used with object),clapped, clap·ping.
  1. to strike the palms of (one's hands) against one another resoundingly, and usually repeatedly, especially to express approval: She clapped her hands in appreciation.

  2. to strike (someone) amicably with a light, open-handed slap, as in greeting, encouragement, or the like: He clapped his friend on the back.

  1. to strike (an object) against something quickly and forcefully, producing an abrupt, sharp sound, or a series of such sounds: to clap a book on the table.

  2. to bring together forcefully (facing surfaces of the same object): She clapped the book shut.

  3. to applaud (a performance, speech, speaker, etc.) by clapping the hands: The audience clapped the actors at the end of the act.

  4. to put or place quickly or forcefully: Can you clap a lid on that jar? She clapped her hand over his mouth.They clapped him in jail.

  5. to make or arrange hastily (often followed by together or up): He clapped together dinner from stuff in the pantry and leftovers from the fridge.

verb (used without object),clapped, clap·ping.
  1. to clap the hands, as to express approval; applaud: After the audience stopped clapping, the tenor sang two encores.

  2. to make an abrupt, sharp sound, as of flat surfaces striking against one another: The shutters clapped in the wind.

  1. to move or strike with such a sound: She clapped across the room in her slippers.

  1. an act or instance of clapping.

  2. the abrupt, sharp sound produced by clapping.

  1. a resounding blow; slap.

  2. a loud and abrupt or explosive noise, as of thunder.

  3. a sudden stroke, blow, or act.

  4. Printing. clapper (def. 5).

  5. Obsolete. a sudden mishap.

Verb Phrases
  1. clap back, Slang. See entry at clapback.

Idioms about clap

  1. clap eyes on. eye (def. 42).

  2. clap hold of, Nautical. to take hold of.

Origin of clap

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English clappen, Old English clæppan; cognate with Middle Low German kleppen

Other definitions for clap (2 of 2)

[ klap ]

nounSlang: Vulgar.
  1. Often the clap . gonorrhea.

Origin of clap

First recorded in 1580–90; akin to Middle French clapoir “bubo,” clapier “brothel,” Old Provençal clapier “warren” Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use clap in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for clap (1 of 2)


/ (klæp) /

verbclaps, clapping or clapped
  1. to make or cause to make a sharp abrupt sound, as of two nonmetallic objects struck together

  2. to applaud (someone or something) by striking the palms of the hands together sharply

  1. (tr) to strike (a person) lightly with an open hand, in greeting, encouragement, etc

  2. (tr) to place or put quickly or forcibly: they clapped him into jail

  3. (of certain birds) to flap (the wings) noisily

  4. (tr; foll by up or together) to contrive or put together hastily: they soon clapped up a shed

  5. clap eyes on informal to catch sight of

  6. clap hold of informal to grasp suddenly or forcibly

  1. the sharp abrupt sound produced by striking the hands together

  2. the act of clapping, esp in applause: he deserves a good clap

  1. a sudden sharp sound, esp of thunder

  2. a light blow

  3. archaic a sudden action or mishap

Origin of clap

Old English clæppan; related to Old High German klepfen, Middle Dutch klape rattle, Dutch klepel clapper; all of imitative origin

British Dictionary definitions for clap (2 of 2)


/ (klæp) /

  1. the clap a slang word for gonorrhoea

Origin of clap

C16: from Old French clapoir venereal sore, from clapier brothel, from Old Provençal, from clap heap of stones, of obscure origin

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012