- Empty verbiage or nonsense. [from early 19th c.]
- 2014 November 6, Rob Nixon, “Naomi Klein’s ‘This Changes Everything’”, in The New York Times:
- Klein diagnoses impressively what hasn’t worked. No more claptrap about fracked gas as a bridge to renewables. Enough already of the international summit meetings that produce sirocco-quality hot air, and nonbinding agreements that bind us all to more emissions.
- (historical) A device for producing a clapping sound in theaters.
- A device or trick to gain applause; a humbug.
- 1869 May, Anthony Trollope, “Lady Milborough as Ambassador”, in He Knew He Was Right, volume I, London: Strahan and Company, publishers, […], OCLC 1118026626, page 83:
- There had been a suggestion that the child should be with her [while she answers the door], but the mother herself had rejected this. "It would be stagey," she had said, "and clap-trap. There is nothing I hate so much as that."
empty verbiage or nonsense