AskDefine | Define clapping

Dictionary Definition

clapping (See clap)


1 a sudden very loud noise [syn: bang, eruption, blast, loud noise]
2 a common venereal disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae; symptoms are painful urination and pain around the urethra [syn: gonorrhea, gonorrhoea]
3 a sharp abrupt noise as if two objects hit together; may be repeated [syn: clack]


1 put quickly or forcibly; "The judge clapped him in jail"
2 cause to strike the air in flight; "The big bird clapped its wings"
3 clap one's hands or shout after performances to indicate approval [syn: applaud, spat, acclaim] [ant: boo]
4 clap one's hands together; "The children were clapping to the music" [syn: spat]
5 strike the air in flight; "the wings of the birds clapped loudly"
6 strike with the flat of the hand; usually in a friendly way, as in encouragement or greeting
7 strike together so as to produce a sharp percussive noise; "clap two boards together" [also: clapping, clapped]clapping n : a demonstration of approval by clapping the hands together [syn: applause, hand clapping]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. present participle of clap

Extensive Definition

A clap is the sound made by striking together two flat surfaces, as in the body parts of humans or animals. Humans clap with the palms of their hands, often in a constant drone to express appreciation or approval (see applause), but also in rhythm to match sounds in music and dance. Seals are among the animals that clap.
Clapping is used to turn appliances on and off with The Clapper.
Some people slap the back of one hand into the palm of the other hand to signify urgency or enthusiasm; others consider it uncouth.
Perhaps the best-known koan involves (at least superficially) consideration of the act of clapping: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
Clapping is occasionally used as a percussion element in music, particularly in Gospel music. One composition by Steve Reich, Clapping Music, is entirely performed by clapping. The clapping patterns known as keplok are important in Javanese gamelan. A type of synthesized clap is popular in many rap and hip hop songs as well.

World Record

The world record for the most claps in sixty seconds is 721, which is held by Kent "Toast" French of Aberdeen, SD.

Pedagogical applications

Music students often clap the rhythm of written music to help learn the value of different notes and to get accustomed to the rhythm of new pieces. A book that is often used to demonstrate this is Rhythmic Training by Robert Starer.

Acoustics applications

Clapping can be used in acoustics to check the reverberation time of a room. The clap's decay time measures this.

Medical applications

Inhalation therapists frequently use clapping (light slaps with a cupped hand on a patient's back, chest, and under arms) to dislodge mucus from breathing passages in order to improve airflow.
Clapping involves stimulation, activation and excitation of corresponding areas in the sensory and motor homunculus present in cerebral cortex. The degree and the pattern of stimulation are not yet studied in detail. But it appears to be promising adjuvant therapy in cases of depression. Traditional (and sometimes devotional) music all over the world involves clapping.

See also

External reference

  • Kent French (a.k.a. "Toast"), world's fastest clapper: (video) (site)
clapping in German: Klatschen
clapping in Korean: 박수
clapping in Dutch: Klappen
clapping in Russian: Хлопок (звук)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acclaim, acclamation, applause, big hand, burst of applause, cheer, clap, clapping of hands, eclat, encore, hand, handclap, handclapping, ovation, plaudit, popularity, round of applause, thunder of applause
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1