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clap (v.)

c. 1300, "to strike with a quick, sharp motion, to slap," from Old English clæppan "to throb, beat," or from or influenced by its Old Norse cognate, klappa, a common Germanic echoic verb (compare Old Frisian klapa "to beat," Old High German klaphon, German klappen, Old Saxon klapunga).

Meaning "to make a sharp noise" is late 14c. Of hands, "to beat together to get attention or express joy," from late 14c. Without specific mention of hands, "to applaud, to manifest approbation by striking the hands together," 1610s. To clap (someone) on the back is from 1520s and retains the older sense. Related: Clapped; clapping.

clap (n.1)

"a sudden, sharp, loud noise," c. 1200, from clap (v.). Of thunder, late 14c. Meaning "sudden blow" is from c. 1400; meaning "noise made by slapping the palms of the hands together" is from 1590s.

clap (n.2)

"gonorrhea," 1580s, of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle English clapper "rabbit-hole," from Old French clapoire (Modern French clapier), originally "rabbit burrow" (a word of uncertain origin), given a slang extension to "brothel" and also the name of a disease of some sort. In English originally also a verb, "to infect with clap." Related: Clap-doctor.

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Definitions of clap
1
clap (v.)
put quickly or forcibly;
The judge clapped him in jail
clap (v.)
cause to strike the air in flight;
The big bird clapped its wings
clap (v.)
clap one's hands or shout after performances to indicate approval;
Synonyms: applaud / spat / acclaim
clap (v.)
clap one's hands together;
The children were clapping to the music
Synonyms: spat
clap (v.)
strike the air in flight;
the wings of the birds clapped loudly
clap (v.)
strike with the flat of the hand; usually in a friendly way, as in encouragement or greeting;
clap (v.)
strike together so as to produce a sharp percussive noise;
clap two boards together
2
clap (n.)
a sudden very loud noise;
Synonyms: bang / eruption / blast / bam
clap (n.)
a common venereal disease caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae; symptoms are painful urination and pain around the urethra;
Synonyms: gonorrhea / gonorrhoea
clap (n.)
a sharp abrupt noise as if two objects hit together; may be repeated;
Synonyms: clack
From wordnet.princeton.edu