- pretentious but insincere or empty language: His speeches seem erudite but analysis reveals them to be mere claptrap.
- any artifice or expedient for winning applause or impressing the public.
Origin of claptrap
SynonymsSee more synonyms for claptrap on Thesaurus.com
1. sham, humbug, hokum, nonsense, bunk.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for claptrap
I do not want to hear any more of this claptrap and nonsense from you.Inside Author Ray Bradbury’s FBI File: Was He a Communist Sympathizer?
August 28, 2012
Shears loved this dry, claptrap way of announcing his triumphs.The Blonde Lady
My dears, do let me beg of you not to be caught by claptrap.Out in the Forty-Five
Emily Sarah Holt
Confound you, do you know who you are talking to, Mr. Claptrap?A Tender Attachment
George Melville Baker
I'm getting further and further away from this century and its claptrap.The March Family Trilogy, Complete
William Dean Howells
The retort is on a par with the proposition, and both are claptrap.If Not Silver, What?
John W. Bookwalter
- contrived but foolish talk
- insincere and pretentious talkpoliticians' claptrap
C18 (in the sense: something contrived to elicit applause): from clap 1 + trap 1
Word Origin and History for claptrap
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper