[ klap-er ]
/ ˈklæp ər /


a person who applauds.
the tongue of a bell.
Slang. the tongue.
Usually clappers. two flat sticks held between the fingers and struck rhythmically against each other to produce abrupt, sharp sounds.
Printing. a platen press.

Origin of clapper

First recorded in 1250–1300, clapper is from the Middle English word claper. See clap1, -er1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for clapper

British Dictionary definitions for clapper


/ (ˈklæpə) /


a person or thing that claps
a contrivance for producing a sound of clapping, as for scaring birds
Also called: tongue a small piece of metal suspended within a bell that causes it to sound when made to strike against its side
a slang word for tongue (def. 1)
go like the clappers, run like the clappers or move like the clappers British informal to move extremely fast
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

Word Origin and History for clapper



late 13c., agent noun from clap (v.). Meaning "tongue of a bell" is from late 14c. Old English had clipur. Meaning "hinged board snapped in front of a camera at the start of filming to synchronize picture and sound" is from 1940.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper