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[uh-plawd] /əˈplɔd/
verb (used without object)
to clap the hands as an expression of approval, appreciation, acclamation, etc.:
They applauded wildly at the end of the opera.
to express approval; give praise; acclaim.
verb (used with object)
to clap the hands so as to show approval, appreciation, etc., of:
to applaud an actor; to applaud a speech.
to praise or express approval of:
to applaud a person's ambition.
Origin of applaud
1530-40; < Latin applaudere, equivalent to ap- ap-1 + plaudere to clap the hands
Related forms
applauder, noun
applaudingly, adverb
overapplaud, verb
reapplaud, verb
self-applauding, adjective
unapplauded, adjective
unapplauding, adjective
well-applauded, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for applaud
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He jumped on his feet, rising to his full height, and began to applaud with all his might.

    At Start and Finish William Lindsey
  • Ernestine paused a moment that Miss Levering might applaud the new 'helper.' '

    The Convert Elizabeth Robins
  • That is, at a concert they will not so applaud one artist as to break up the program.

    The Etiquette of To-day Edith B. Ordway
  • I honour your innocence and applaud your approbation of sailors.

    Yr Ynys Unyg Julia de Winton
  • Either to applaud the negro songs—or perhaps an ironical comment on the sorrow, anger, or style of the stock poets.

    Complete Prose Works Walt Whitman
British Dictionary definitions for applaud


to indicate approval of (a person, performance, etc) by clapping the hands
(usually transitive) to offer or express approval or praise of (an action, person, or thing): I applaud your decision
Derived Forms
applauder, noun
applauding, adjective
applaudingly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin applaudere to clap, from plaudere to beat, applaud
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for applaud

late 15c. (implied in applauding), "to express agreement or approval; to praise," from Latin applaudere "to clap the hands in approbation, to approve by clapping hands; to strike upon, beat," from ad "to" (see ad-) + plaudere "to clap" (see plaudit). Sense of "express approval of" is from 1590s; that of "to clap the hands" is from 1590s. Figurative sense arrived in English before literal. Related: Applauded; applauding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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