Word of the Day : January 8, 2015

claque

play
noun KLAK

Definition

1 : a group hired to applaud at a performance

2 : a group of sycophants

Did You Know?

The word claque might call to mind the sound of a clap, and that's no accident. Claque is a French borrowing that descends from the verb claquer, meaning "to clap," and the noun claque, meaning "a clap." Those French words in turn originated in imitation of the sound associated with them. English speakers borrowed claque in the 19th century. At that time, the practice of infiltrating audiences with hired members was very common to French theater culture. Claque members received money and free tickets to laugh, cry, shout-and of course clap-in just the right spots, hopefully influencing the rest of the audience to do the same.


Examples

The senator seems to have a claque of influential supporters in the media who are willing to endorse his every move.

"But the program has gone by the boards now, the victim of an activist federal judge and a claque of feckless politicians." - Bob McManus, The New York Post, July 1, 2014



Test Your Vocabulary

Fill in the blanks to create a word that refers to an actor employed to play a walk-on part: s _ pe _ nu _ _ rar _. The answer is …


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