1. a person who applauds.
  2. the tongue of a bell.
  3. Slang. the tongue.
  4. Usually clappers. two flat sticks held between the fingers and struck rhythmically against each other to produce abrupt, sharp sounds.
  5. Printing. a platen press.


  1. a person or thing that claps
  2. a contrivance for producing a sound of clapping, as for scaring birds
  3. Also called: tongue a small piece of metal suspended within a bell that causes it to sound when made to strike against its side
  4. a slang word for tongue (def. 1)
  5. go like the clappers, run like the clappers or move like the clappers British informal to move extremely fast

late 13c., agent noun from clap (v.). Meaning “tongue of a bell” is from late 14c. Old English had clipur. Meaning “hinged board snapped in front of a camera at the start of filming to synchronize picture and sound” is from 1940.

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