claptrap

[klap-trap]
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noun
  1. pretentious but insincere or empty language: His speeches seem erudite but analysis reveals them to be mere claptrap.
  2. any artifice or expedient for winning applause or impressing the public.

Origin of claptrap

First recorded in 1720–30; clap1 + trap1

Synonyms for claptrap

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for claptrap

bunk, bombast, drivel, nonsense

Examples from the Web for claptrap

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British Dictionary definitions for claptrap

claptrap

noun informal
  1. contrived but foolish talk
  2. insincere and pretentious talkpoliticians' claptrap

Word Origin for claptrap

C18 (in the sense: something contrived to elicit applause): from clap 1 + trap 1
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 claptrap
n.

c.1730, "trick to 'catch' applause," a stage term; from clap (v.) + trap (n.). Extended sense of "cheap, showy language" is from 1819; hence "nonsense, rubbish."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper