ap·​plaud | \ ə-ˈplȯd How to pronounce applaud (audio) \
applauded; applauding; applauds

Definition of applaud

intransitive verb

: to express approval especially by clapping the hands The audience applauded at the end of the performance.

transitive verb

1 : to express approval of : praise I applaud her efforts to lose weight.
2 : to show approval of especially by clapping the hands Spectators applauded the team.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from applaud

applaudable \ ə-​ˈplȯ-​də-​bəl How to pronounce applaudable (audio) \ adjective
applaudably \ ə-​ˈplȯ-​də-​blē How to pronounce applaudably (audio) \ adverb
applauder noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for applaud



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of applaud in a Sentence

Everyone applauded the graduates as they entered the auditorium. The audience stood and applauded her performance. We applaud the decision to lower taxes. I applaud their efforts to clean up the city, but they must do more. Rather than being criticized for her honesty, she should be applauded for it.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Henry Ajder, the head of communications and research analysis at Deeptrace Labs, which released a study on deepfakes last year, applauded Facebook’s move. Amrita Khalid, Quartz, "Facebook’s deepfake ban ignores most visual misinformation," 8 Jan. 2020 Many fans on social media applauded the Kardashians for being quietly charitable in regard to the Australia fires. Kaitlin Reilly,, "The Kardashians Respond To Accusations Of Hypocrisy Over Australia Fire Donation," 7 Jan. 2020 While Gamergate was applauded by a lot of men in the anti-feminist man-o-sphere like Roosh V, Milo Yiannopolus, and Mike Cernovich, the movement wasn’t comprised solely of men. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Decade of Enduring Male Fragility," 27 Dec. 2019 Broadening the pool Drake, for one, applauds NIH’s move. Jeffrey Mervis, Science | AAAS, "NIH clarifies meaning of ‘disadvantaged’ in bid to boost diversity in science," 13 Dec. 2019 While some have applauded his advocacy, others have criticized the actor for an approach that focuses only on one issue: Brexit. Megan Specia, New York Times, "Hugh, Actually: In U.K. Campaign, Voters Find an Actor at the Door," 6 Dec. 2019 Refugee advocates applauded Ducey's decision to continue allowing refugees to resettle in Arizona. Daniel Gonzalez, azcentral, "Arizona will continue to resettle refugees, Gov. Doug Ducey tells Trump administration," 6 Dec. 2019 While some are applauding Epic's decision, others see some hypocrisy in Khattri's treatment when compared to other Fortnite cheaters. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Aimbot video leads to lifetime ban for popular Fortnite pro," 5 Nov. 2019 Even the bench could hardly sit down while applauding the defensive effort. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nikola Jokic erupts in second half, Nuggets snap two-game losing streak," 2 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'applaud.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of applaud

15th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for applaud

Middle English, from Middle French or Latin; Middle French aplaudir, from Latin applaudere, from ad- + plaudere to applaud

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about applaud

Time Traveler for applaud

Time Traveler

The first known use of applaud was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for applaud

Last Updated

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Applaud.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for applaud


How to pronounce applaud (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of applaud

: to strike the hands together over and over to show approval or praise
: to express approval of or support for (something or someone)


ap·​plaud | \ ə-ˈplȯd How to pronounce applaud (audio) \
applauded; applauding

Kids Definition of applaud

1 : to show approval especially by clapping the hands
2 : praise entry 1 sense 1 We applaud your efforts.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on applaud

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for applaud

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with applaud

Spanish Central: Translation of applaud

Nglish: Translation of applaud for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of applaud for Arabic Speakers

Comments on applaud

What made you want to look up applaud? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


dull or mediocre

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!