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

Synonyms & Antonyms for applaud


acclaim, accredit, cheer, crack up, hail, laud, praise, salute, tout


knock, pan, slam

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

Utah farmers and marijuana advocates applauded the state’s move and want to maximize transparency in the process. Morgan Smith,, "Utah medical marijuana license applicants under wraps but will be revealed," 13 June 2019 Robb Cowie, a spokesman for the Oregon Health Authority, applauded Mosman’s ruling in a statement and said the state looks forward to reporting its progress., "Federal judge declines to hold Oregon in contempt over psych hospital problems," 12 June 2019 Even the Southern Baptist Church initially applauded Roe. David French, National Review, "Against Conservative Cultural Defeatism," 4 June 2019 As Abigail Tucker recently wrote in Smithsonian magazine, Congress barely applauded. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "Freedom from Inspiration," 10 Mar. 2019 Top marketers have applauded Nike for recognizing its audience and taking a risk, while that same audience, which is primarily made up of younger consumers, is praising the brand for its bold stance. Amira Rasool, Teen Vogue, "Colin Kaepernick's Nike Ad Made the Brand's Market Value Surge by $6 Billion," 24 Sep. 2018 Kids greeting her were dressed to the nines, applauding her and asking her for autographs. Bryce Miller,, "Global soccer star who coached hundreds in San Diego area fighting cancer," 12 May 2018 Winnie the Pooh, Snow White, and, of course, Mickey Mouse, are some of the most popular characters he was applauded for creating. Megan Stein, Country Living, "So, Who Has Won the Most Oscars Ever?," 24 Feb. 2019 That headline has been applauded for its strong stance. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "Trump's Racist Campaign Ad Shouldn't Shock Anyone," 1 Nov. 2018

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

Dictionary Entries near applaud

Appian Way







Statistics for applaud

Last Updated

20 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for applaud

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for applaud



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with applaud

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!