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[klak] /klæk/
a group of persons hired to applaud an act or performer.
a group of sycophants.
Origin of claque
1860-65; < French, derivative of claquer to clap
Can be confused
claque, clique. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for claque
Contemporary Examples
  • To save the banking system, Greenspan, along with a claque of Republicans like Lindsey Graham, now endorses nationalization.

    The Naked Truth Tina Brown February 17, 2009
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for claque


a group of people hired to applaud
a group of fawning admirers
Word Origin
C19: from French, from claquer to clap, of imitative origin
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 claque

1860, from French claque "band of claqueurs," agent noun from claquer "to clap" (16c.), echoic (cf. clap (v.)). Modern sense of "band of political followers" is transferred from that of "organized applause at theater." Claqueur "audience memeber who gives pre-arranged responses in a theater performance" is in English from 1837.

This method of aiding the success of public performances is very ancient; but it first became a permanent system, openly organized and controlled by the claquers themselves, in Paris at the beginning of the nineteenth century. [Century Dictionary]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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