claque

[klak]
noun
1.
a group of persons hired to applaud an act or performer.
2.
a group of sycophants.

Origin:
1860–65; < French, derivative of claquer to clap

claque, clique.
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World English Dictionary
claque (klæk)
 
n
1.  a group of people hired to applaud
2.  a group of fawning admirers
 
[C19: from French, from claquer to clap, of imitative origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

claque
1864, from Fr. claquer "to clap," echoic. Modern sense of "political followers" is transferred from that of organized applause at theater.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
On the web you best build an audience by organising a claque and stroking its
  prejudices.
On the web you best build an audience by organising a claque and stroking its
  prejudices.
With twitter and social media there is an illusion of the claque and the added
  pressure to conform,update.
Communism offered him the kind of stage and claque best suited to the cravings
  of his monumental ego.
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