clap·​per ˈkla-pər How to pronounce clapper (audio)
: one that claps: such as
: the tongue of a bell
: a mechanical device that makes noise especially by the banging of one part against another
: a person who applauds

Examples of clapper in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Several men held clapper sticks made of elderberry wood and began tapping a rhythm. Ian James, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2023 Paired with veteran composer Jérôme Leroy for support and frequently leaning on Valencia and her fellow Chumash tribe members, Kamalu integrated deer hoof rattles, abalone shells and Valencia’s family’s clapper sticks into the soundtrack of the show. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 June 2023 The door opens to the same clack of bell and clapper. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 13 July 2022 Well, that ringing MLS endorsement has lost its clapper. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 June 2023 During her remarkable tenure, White has worn more than 7,000 gowns (without any repeats) and has made it into the Guinness Book of World Records for being the most frequent clapper in history (averaging 600 claps per episode), according to Glamour. Nardine Saad, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2023 Think of the brain as a large church bell and the TMS device as the clapper. Christof Koch, Scientific American, 1 Nov. 2017 The clapper? Dallas News, 12 Feb. 2023 Raised pentecostal happy-clapper catholic. Phil Plait, Discover Magazine, 31 Dec. 2010 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'clapper.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near clapper

Cite this Entry

“Clapper.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


clap·​per ˈklap-ər How to pronounce clapper (audio)
: the tongue of a bell
: one that makes a clapping sound

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