- empty verbiage or nonsense [from early 19th c.]
- (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