[ klak ]
/ klæk /

WATCH NOW: Claque: Visual Word of the Day

WATCH NOW: Claque: Visual Word of the Day

Seinfeld wasn't the first to use a laugh track: It's over 2,000 years old.




a group of persons hired to applaud an act or performer.
a group of sycophants.

Origin of claque

1860–65; < French, derivative of claquer to clap
Can be confusedclaque clique Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for claque

British Dictionary definitions for claque


/ (klæk) /


a group of people hired to applaud
a group of fawning admirers

Word Origin for claque

C19: from French, from claquer to clap, of imitative 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

Word Origin and History for claque



1860, from French claque "band of claqueurs," agent noun from claquer "to clap" (16c.), echoic (cf. clap (v.)). Modern sense of "band of political followers" is transferred from that of "organized applause at theater." Claqueur "audience memeber who gives pre-arranged responses in a theater performance" is in English from 1837.

This method of aiding the success of public performances is very ancient; but it first became a permanent system, openly organized and controlled by the claquers themselves, in Paris at the beginning of the nineteenth century. [Century Dictionary]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper