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Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English clæppan. Cognate with Dutch klappen


clap (plural claps)

Two men clapping.
  1. The act of striking the palms of the hands, or any two surfaces, together.
    He summoned the waiter with a clap.
  2. The explosive sound of thunder.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, “[[Episode 12: The Cyclops]]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      The deafening claps of thunder and the dazzling flashes of lightning which lit up the ghastly scene testified that the artillery of heaven had lent its supernatural pomp to the already gruesome spectacle.
  3. Any loud, sudden, explosive sound made by striking hard surfaces together, or resembling such a sound.
    Off in the distance, he heard the clap of thunder.
    • Jonathan Swift
      Give the door such a clap, as you go out, as will shake the whole room.
  4. A slap with the hand, usually in a jovial manner.
    His father's affection never went further than a handshake or a clap on the shoulder.
  5. A single, sudden act or motion; a stroke; a blow.
    • Shakespeare
      What, fifty of my followers at a clap!
  6. (falconry) The nether part of the beak of a hawk.
  7. (Yorkshire) A dropping of cow dung (presumably from the sound made as it hits the ground) [1]
    • 1890, John Nicholson, Folk Lore of East Yorkshire, page 139
      “Oh! get some coo clap (cow dung), mix it wi’ fish oil (whale oil), put it on, and let it stop on all neet.”
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]


clap (third-person singular simple present claps, present participle clapping, simple past and past participle clapped or (archaic) clapt)

English Wikipedia has an article on:
  1. To strike the palms of the hands together, creating a sharp sound.
    The children began to clap in time with the music.
  2. To applaud.
    The audience loudly clapped the actress, who responded with a deep curtsey.
    It isn’t the singers they are clapping; it's the composer.
  3. To slap with the hand in a jovial manner.
    He would often clap his teammates on the back for encouragement.
  4. To bring two surfaces together forcefully, creating a sharp sound.
    He clapped the empty glass down on the table.
    She clapped the book shut.
    He clapped across the floor in his boots.
    • Marvell
      Then like a bird it sits and sings, / And whets and claps its silver wings.
  5. To come together suddenly with noise.
    • Dryden
      The doors around me clapped.
  6. To create or assemble (something) hastily (usually followed by up or together).
    We should clap together a shelter before nightfall.
    The rival factions clapped up a truce.
  7. To set or put, usually in haste.
    The sheriff clapped him in jail.
    She was the prettiest thing I'd ever clapped eyes on.
    • John Locke
      He had just time to get in and clap to the door.
    • Lamb
      Clap an extinguisher upon your irony.
  8. (slang, African American Vernacular) To shoot (somebody) with a gun.
Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]



clap (plural claps)

  1. (slang, with "the") Gonorrhea.
    • 1997 MASH
    • “What in hell makes you think he's got the clap?” Hawkeye asked. “Even a clap doctor can't diagnose it through a parka
      1998 Dan Savage
    • When I explained that I thought he had given me the clap, he said I must be mistaken, it had to be someone I'd “tricked” with at ... He'd never had an STD in his life, he told me, and slammed down the phone.
      1998 Changing Bodies
    • He thought I had given him the clap [gonorrhea], but I knew I didn't.
      2006 The STDs Update
    • Gonorrhea, sometimes called the clap, is caused by a bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae.


  1. ^ Edward Peacock, A Glossary of Words Used in the Wapentakes of Manley and Corringham, Lincolnshire, p 188




clap m (plural claps)

  1. patch



clap m (plural claps)

  1. clapperboard