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- Empty verbiage or nonsense. [from early 19th c.]
- 2014 November 6, Rob Nixon, “Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’”, in New York Times:
- Klein diagnoses impressively what hasn’t worked. No more claptrap about fracked gas as a bridge to renewables. Enough already of the international summit meetings that produce sirocco-quality hot air, and nonbinding agreements that bind us all to more emissions.
- (historical) A device for producing a clapping sound in theaters.
- A trick or device to gain applause; humbug
- 1868, Anthony Trollope, He Knew He Was Right XI:
- There had been a suggestion that the child should be with her [while she answers the door], but the mother herself had rejected this. ‘It would be stagey,’ she had said, ‘and clap-trap. There is nothing I hate so much as that.’
empty verbiage or nonsense