• WordNet 3.6
    • n claptrap pompous or pretentious talk or writing
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Claptrap A contrivance for clapping in theaters.
    • Claptrap A trick or device to gain applause, especially pretentious but empty rhetoric; humbug.
    • a Claptrap Contrived for the purpose of making a show, or gaining applause; deceptive; unreal.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n claptrap A contrivance for clapping in theaters.
    • n claptrap Figuratively, an artifice or device to elicit applause or gain popularity; deceptive show or pretense.
    • claptrap Designing or designed merely to win approval or catch applause.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Claptrap (Shak.) a trick to gain applause: flashy display: empty words
    • ***


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Ice. klappa, to pat; Dut. and Ger. klappen.


In literature:

At least they call it heart failure induced by an overdose, or some such claptrap.
"The Secret Adversary" by Agatha Christie
Some of the Tory orators had employed what was then a favourite claptrap.
"The History of England from the Accession of James II." by Thomas Babington Macaulay
Let other detectives learn the truth by such claptrap means if they choose.
"The Gold Bag" by Carolyn Wells
Come, Harness, you're a clever man, you don't believe all the Socialistic claptrap that's talked nowadays.
"Strife (First Series Plays)" by John Galsworthy
I'm getting further and further away from this century and its claptrap.
"The March Family Trilogy, Complete" by William Dean Howells
But a school, with all its disciplinary claptrap reduced to a junk heap!
"Pee-wee Harris on the Trail" by Percy Keese Fitzhugh
Claptrap, the manager of the theatre.
"Stories of Comedy" by Various
My dears, do let me beg of you not to be caught by claptrap.
"Out in the Forty-Five" by Emily Sarah Holt
It was poor stuff, most of it; coarse jokes, recrimination, crowd-catching claptrap.
"The Tribune of Nova Scotia" by W. L. (William Lawson) Grant
We shall test for ourselves all the claptrap of the highest-priced novelists.
"The Madness of May" by Meredith Nicholson

In news:

A Hollywood wanna-be's claptrap about anti-Semitism.
Crossing Over has its heart in umpteen places and its head stuffed with dramatic claptrap.
It's absolutely amazing to me how so many people have bought into this "global warming" claptrap.
That should be the response of the Republican Party to all the post-election claptrap being gloatfully throated by Democrats, political pundits and their liberal acolytes in the mainstream media.
If Jennifer Egan is our reward for living through the self-conscious gimmicks and ironic claptrap of postmodernism, then it was all worthwhile.
Mining humor out of Missouri Senate hopeful Todd Akin's barrage of claptrap is tougher than eating frozen jerky in a rowboat on the eyewall of Hurricane Isaac.
Reading it for all its symbols, on the other hand, it amounts to an arid and extremely pretentious collection of religious claptrap.
Denzel Washington is way too fine an actor to hide his talents in standard-issue action claptrap like Safe House .
First, he goes after the moral equivalence claptrap which has absorbed the Left and much of the western media.