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Etymology 1Edit

clap +‎ -er


clapper (plural clappers)

  1. One who claps; a person who applauds by clapping the hands.
  2. An object so suspended inside a bell that it may hit the bell and cause it to ring; a clanger or tongue.
  3. A wooden mechanical device used as a scarecrow; bird-scaring rattle, a wind-rattle or a wind-clapper.
    • 1896, Sabine Baring-Gould, Arminell, a social romance, Ch. 37:
      "Sir, sir! folks' tongues go like the clappers in the fields to drive away the blackbirds. A very little wind makes 'em rattle wonderfully."
  4. A clapstick (musical instrument).
  5. (sewing) A pounding block.
  6. The chattering damsel of a mill.
  7. (ice hockey) A slapshot
  8. (cinematography) The hinged part of a clapperboard, used to synchronise images and soundtrack, or the clapperboard itself.
Derived termsEdit


clapper (third-person singular simple present clappers, present participle clappering, simple past and past participle clappered)

  1. (transitive) To ring a bell by pulling a rope attached to the clapper.
    • 1903, Baron Edmund Beckett Grimthorpe, A rudimentary treatise on clocks and watches and bells:
      It is still necessary to warn clergymen against allowing the lazy and pernicious practice of 'clappering,' i.e. tying the bell-rope to the clapper, and pulling it instead of the bell.
  2. To make a repetitive clapping sound; to clatter.
  3. Of birds, to repeatedly strike the mandibles together.

Etymology 2Edit

Borrowed from French clapier.


clapper (plural clappers)

  1. (obsolete) A rabbit burrow.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for clapper in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)





  1. to click (the tongue)


Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit