claque

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claque (Fr.). Smack, clap. Members of the audience at (usually) an opera-house but also in the concert-hall who are engaged by a performer, often at considerable expense, to applaud, call for encores, and generally show enthusiasm (or the reverse). Claques are highly organized, under leadership of a chef de claque, and exert considerable influence. The claque appears to have developed in Paris c.1820 and then to have spread to It. and to Vienna, and eventually to all the famous opera houses.

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claque / klak/ • n. a group of people hired to applaud (or heckle) a performer or public speaker. ∎  a group of sycophantic followers.

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claque a group of people hired to applaud (or heckle) a performer or public speaker; a group of sycophantic followers. The word comes (in the mid 19th century) from French, from claquer ‘to clap’; the practice of paying members of an audience for their support originated at the Paris opera.

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Claque

a group of admirers; always ready to applaud the person they follow; esp. in France, a group of paid applauders.