Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To strike the palms of the hands together with a sudden explosive sound, as in applauding.
  • intransitive v. To come together suddenly with a sharp sound.
  • transitive v. To strike together with a sharp sound, as one hard surface on another: clapped a book on the desk.
  • transitive v. To strike (the hands) together with an abrupt, loud sound, usually repeatedly: clapped hands in time to the music.
  • transitive v. To strike lightly but firmly with the open hand, as in greeting: clapped me on the shoulder.
  • transitive v. To put or place quickly and firmly: clapped the purse snatcher in jail; clapped a lid on the box.
  • transitive v. To arrange hastily: clapped together a plan.
  • n. The act or sound of clapping the hands.
  • n. A sudden, loud, explosive sound: a clap of thunder.
  • n. A sharp blow with the open hand; a slap.
  • n. Obsolete A sudden stroke of fortune, especially of bad luck.
  • n. Vulgar Slang Gonorrhea. Often used with the.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act of striking the palms of the hands, or any two surfaces, together.
  • n. The explosive sound of thunder.
  • n. Any loud, sudden, explosive sound made by striking hard surfaces together, or resembling such a sound.
  • n. A slap with the hand, usually in a jovial manner.
  • v. To strike the palms of the hands together, creating a sharp sound.
  • v. To applaud.
  • v. To slap with the hand in a jovial manner.
  • v. To bring two surfaces together forcefully, creating a sharp sound.
  • v. To create or assemble (something) hastily (usually followed by up or together).
  • v. To set or put, usually in haste.
  • n. Gonorrhea.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To strike; to slap; to strike, or strike together, with a quick motion, so, as to make a sharp noise.
  • transitive v. To thrust, drive, put, or close, in a hasty or abrupt manner; -- often followed by to, into, on, or upon.
  • transitive v. To manifest approbation of, by striking the hands together; to applaud.
  • intransitive v. To knock, as at a door.
  • intransitive v. To strike the hands together in applause.
  • intransitive v. To come together suddenly with noise.
  • intransitive v. To enter with alacrity and briskness; -- with to or into.
  • intransitive v. To talk noisily; to chatter loudly.
  • n. A loud noise made by sudden collision; a bang.
  • n. A burst of sound; a sudden explosion.
  • n. A single, sudden act or motion; a stroke; a blow.
  • n. A striking of hands to express approbation.
  • n. Noisy talk; chatter.
  • n. The nether part of the beak of a hawk.
  • n. Gonorrhea.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strike with a quick, sharp motion; slap; pat, as with the palm of the open hand or some flat object: as, to clap one on the shoulder.
  • Hence To fondle by.patting.
  • To push forcibly; move together; shut hastily: followed by to: as, to clap to the door or gate.
  • To place or put, especially by a hasty or sudden motion: as, to clap the hand to the mouth; to clap spurs to a horse.
  • To strike, knock, or slap together, as the hands, or against the body, as wings, with a sharp, abrupt sound.
  • Hence To manifest approbation of by striking the hands together; applaud by clapping the hands.
  • To utter noisily.
  • To imprison, especially without formality or delay.
  • . To strike or knock, as at a door.
  • To come together suddenly with a sharp noise; close with a bang; slam; clack.
  • To applaud, as by clapping the hands together.
  • To chatter; prattle or prate continually or noisily.
  • To begin or set to work with alacrity and briskness.
  • n. A sudden sharp sound produced by a collision; a bang; a slap; a slam.
  • n. Hence A burst or peal, as of thunder.
  • n. A striking together, as of the hands or of a bird's wings; especially, a striking of the hands together, to express applause.
  • n. A clapping; applause expressed by clapping.
  • n. Noise of any kind, especially idle chatter.
  • n. A sudden blow, motion, or act: generally in the phrase at a clap (which see, below).
  • n. A touch or pat with the open hand: as, he put her off with a kiss and a clap.
  • n. In falconry, the nether part of the beak of a hawk.
  • n. Same as clapper, 1
  • n. Gonorrhea.
  • To infect with venereal poison.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. put quickly or forcibly
  • v. strike together so as to produce a sharp percussive noise
  • v. clap one's hands together
  • n. a sharp abrupt noise as if two objects hit together; may be repeated
  • v. strike the air in flight
  • n. a common venereal disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae; symptoms are painful urination and pain around the urethra
  • v. strike with the flat of the hand; usually in a friendly way, as in encouragement or greeting
  • n. a sudden very loud noise
  • v. cause to strike the air in flight
  • v. clap one's hands or shout after performances to indicate approval

Etymologies

Middle English clappen, from Old English clæppan, clappian, to throb, and from Old Norse klappa, to clap, pat.
Probably from obsolete French clapoir, bubo, from Old French clapier, brothel, from Old Provençal, rabbit warren, from clap, heap of stones, perhaps of Celtic origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English clæppan. (Wiktionary)
From the + clap (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Here is claps wif mai floofy paws..**clap clap clap** heer iz sparklee drinkee wif much xtry catnipz nd shotz ub tewkeelas, and to top off wid much possim size choklits to noms on, and snorgles wit mai floofy bebeh kitteh wat haz dots on tumee and pinkee toe pads!

    New kitteh? Black u sez? - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • _Clap -- clap -- clap_ was the only sound that reached me -- and with failing heart I knew the noise to be that of waves of the lake beating upon the wall within a few inches of my window, the dark waters which in due time would no doubt rise through my uneven floor and engulf me.

    The Minister of Evil The Secret History of Rasputin's Betrayal of Russia

  • At last, though, thinking that he had better lie down for fear of being very tired next day, he reached out his hand to draw in the casement, but kept it there, for a very familiar sound now struck upon his ear: _Clap, clap, clap, clap_ of wings, and then a thoroughly hearty old English cock-a-doodle-doo! and the boy burst into a merry laugh.

    First in the Field A Story of New South Wales

  • Big Stan * clap clap clap clap* It will be the best movie it will be so much better than Comments

    Pajiba

  • Wed 04/16 19: 24 comments (46) * clap clap* Congratulations to the winner!

    AnimeBlogger.net Antenna

  • *beeky beeky beeky beeky wingy wingy wingy wing wiggle wiggle wiggle wiggle clap clap clap clap*

    flying: - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • * clap clap* i've been retreating for the past two days. i have cramps. i'm too tired to write. anyone know of anything that makes cramps go away? do those heat pads work? hm. i think i may have to invest. don't worry, i'll write lots about the retreat and the past week later. sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep

    courage. *clap* get up! *clap clap*

  • But it will be said, perhaps, that candidates for [122] political influence and leadership, who thus caress the self-love of those whose suffrages they desire, know quite well that they are not saying the sheer truth as reason sees it, but that they are using a sort of conventional language, or what we call clap-trap, which is essential to the working of representative institutions.

    Culture and Anarchy

  • The president's slight shift on offshore drilling for oil and gas is worthy of at least a polite opera clap from the conservative camp.

    Ugly politics: How low can we go?

  • Hardly a single clap from the republican side of the aisle.

    Obama warns anyone who would 'misrepresent' plan

Comments

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  • The "common venereal disease" definition has led to the idiom "a case of the clap". This has in turn led to the humorous usage referring to unbidden or "inappropriate" applause in the middle of a live classical performance, e.g. "The audience had a case of the clap tonight."

    (Disclaimer: I am not against applause between movements at concerts, but there are certainly times when it's ill-judged.)

    October 7, 2008

  • Their first favour was to clap me up in a cell, where they left me on the straw like a criminal, whose only earthly portion was to con over his dying speech in solitude.

    - Lesage, The Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane, tr. Smollett, bk 9 ch. 4

    October 7, 2008

  • Whatever WeirdNet may say, I'm going with the 'hit palms together noisily' meaning.

    May 4, 2008