clap·​per | \ ˈkla-pər How to pronounce clapper (audio) \

Definition of clapper

: one that claps: such as
a : the tongue of a bell
b : a mechanical device that makes noise especially by the banging of one part against another
c : a person who applauds

Examples of clapper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Finally, the clapper was unchained, and the Justice Bell rang out on Sept. 25, 1920, in a celebration appropriately at Philadelphia’s Independence Square. USA Today, "Who is your Woman of the Century?," 13 Aug. 2020 The freeing of the clapper to do its hard work was indicative of the accomplishments of countless Pennsylvania women in the next five score years. USA Today, "Who is your Woman of the Century?," 13 Aug. 2020 Importantly, the clapper would be tightly chained to the side of the bell until women gained voting rights. USA Today, "Who is your Woman of the Century?," 13 Aug. 2020 For nearly half a century, the former Vice President has been a hand-holder and a hugger, a back-slapper and shoulder-clapper. Charlotte Alter, Time, "'A Battle for the Soul of the Internet.' Joe Biden Tries to Adapt to a Digital Campaign," 16 Apr. 2020 Music tones are produced by pressing on rows of wood batons and pedals that swing the clappers against the bells. Brian Albrecht, cleveland, "Carillons unite in performances to lift spirits during coronavirus crisis," 20 Mar. 2020 Buttigieg supporters, wearing bright yellow, had plastic hand-clapper noisemakers that sounded like the pitter-patter of a rainstorm. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "Raucous crowd at New Hampshire Democratic fundraiser reflects long-simmering tensions among candidates," 9 Feb. 2020 He was too easily derided as a clapper on the sidelines and portrayed as an ineffective puppet of the owner. David Moore, Dallas News, "Despite his preparation and positivity, former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett might only be remembered for the battles he lost," 6 Jan. 2020 Questlove of The Roots took the clappers and submarine shakers in this classroom-style group, while Black Thought took tambourine. Nick Romano,, "Ringo Starr and Jimmy Fallon give 'Yellow Submarine' a Classroom Instruments cover," 25 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'clapper.' 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 clapper

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of clapper was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Clapper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for clapper



English Language Learners Definition of clapper

: a metal ball that hangs inside a bell and hits the inside of the bell to make it ring


clap·​per | \ ˈkla-pər How to pronounce clapper (audio) \

Kids Definition of clapper

: the part hanging inside a bell that hits the sides to make the bell ring

More from Merriam-Webster on clapper

Nglish: Translation of clapper for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about clapper

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