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.

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Other Words from applaud

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for applaud



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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Advocates applaud the Department of Agriculture for acting quickly to bring additional states and retailers onto the pilot in the pandemic. Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN, "Online grocery shopping is growing, but millions of Americans on food stamps are being left behind," 7 Dec. 2020 Two other letters of recognition applaud his work recovering firearms in the gang unit and solving a robbery. Liz Sawyer, Star Tribune, "Attorney for fired St. Paul cop pushes back on police chief's account," 2 Dec. 2020 While many Democrats applaud Biden’s approach, some say the U.S. has to be careful and not send a message that border enforcement is going away. Michael Smolens San Diego Union-tribune (tns), Star Tribune, "Biden plans big changes in immigration system — some won't be easy," 23 Nov. 2020 And while fans also applaud the band’s attitude, starting off as underdog at a smaller label, BTS did have the benefit of the label founder’s experience, explained Tamar Herman, who has been covering the group for Billboard Magazine since 2016. Washington Post, "For fans of BTS, the only thing better than the group is each other," 20 Nov. 2020 While many Democrats applaud Biden’s approach, some say the United States has to be careful and not send a message that border enforcement is going away. Michael Smolens Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Biden plans big changes in immigration system — some won’t be easy," 18 Nov. 2020 Alaska’s governor and congressional leaders applaud the removal of protections. Bjorn Dihle, Outdoor Life, "USDA Strips Tongass Roadless-Rule Protections, Favoring Subsidized Logging Interests Over Hunters, Anglers, and Wildlife," 28 Oct. 2020 Although Minnesota prosecutors are unhappy about the change, Minnesotans should applaud a recent judicial decision to allow cameras and audio in the courtroom during the George Floyd murder trial. Editorial Board Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "A victory for courtroom access in George Floyd case," 17 Nov. 2020 This is not like the Spring lockdowns in Europe, when people confined to their homes ventured onto balconies in the evenings to applaud health care workers. Washington Post, "Gloom settles over Europe as days darken and coronavirus surges," 28 Oct. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for applaud

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for applaud

Last Updated

14 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Applaud.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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.

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Comments on applaud

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