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Word of the Day
Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Definitions for claptrap

  1. pretentious but insincere or empty language: His speeches seem erudite but analysis reveals them to be mere claptrap.
  2. any artifice or expedient for winning applause or impressing the public.

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Citations for claptrap
What is she to sneer at a brave, enduring race of fellow-beings! Dress them in tawdry rags, locate them anywhere on the continent, write out their history in sounding claptrap, and she would be stirred by pathetic thrills. John Trafford Clegg, David's Loom: a story of Rochdale's life in the early years of the nineteenth century, 1894
...it was on the whole an enormous piece of claptrap; the room, almost vacant when I entered, began to fill. Charotte Brontë, Villette, 1853
Origin of claptrap
1720-1730
Claptrap came to English in the 1720s as a portmanteau of clap and trap.