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 Another artifact, a black-and-white clapper board used on the set of the film adaptation of Cabaret, highlights the close connections between Broadway and Hollywood. Jane Recker, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 May 2022 There were two sandhill cranes in Hanson and two clapper rails in Fairhaven., 10 Apr. 2021 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, 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, 13 Aug. 2020 Importantly, the clapper would be tightly chained to the side of the bell until women gained voting rights. USA Today, 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, 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, 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, 9 Feb. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of clapper

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About clapper

Time Traveler for clapper

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near clapper



clapper boards

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for clapper

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Clapper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for clapper


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


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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