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

Contemporary Examples of claque

  • To save the banking system, Greenspan, along with a claque of Republicans like Lindsey Graham, now endorses nationalization.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Naked Truth

    Tina Brown

    February 18, 2009

Historical Examples of claque

  • Is there anything in the world so disgusting as to feel one's self patronized, made capital of, enrolled in a claque?

    The Simple Life

    Charles Wagner

  • At the end of the performance he sent for the leader of the claque and rated him soundly.

    Artists' Wives

    Alphonse Daudet

  • Wagner is known to have been absolutely opposed not only to the claque but to the most legitimate bursts of applause.

    Old and New Paris, v. 2

    Henry Sutherland Edwards

  • We were in tremendous spirits, and applauded quite as vigorously as the claque which occupied the row behind us.


    Axel Munthe

  • Yet while one can understand the persistence of certain Parisian defects, the long life of the claque remains a mystery.

British Dictionary definitions for claque



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