Applause (Latin applaudere, to strike upon, clap) is primarily the expression of approval by the act of clapping, or striking the palms of the hands together, in order to create noise. Audiences are usually expected to applaud after a performance, such as a musical concert, speech, or play. In most western countries, audience members clap their hands at random to produce a constant noise; however, it tends to synchronize naturally to a weak degree. As a form of mass nonverbal communication, it is a simple indicator of the average relative opinion of the entire group; the louder and longer the noise, the stronger the sign of approval.
- APPLAUSE, n. The echo of a platitude.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
- Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
- Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon (1820), p. 205.
- Popular Applause! what heart of man
Is proof against thy sweet, seducing charms?
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book II, line 431.
- The silence that accepts merit as the most natural thing in the world, is the highest applause.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, An Address (July 15, 1838); reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 37.
- I live for the applause, applause, applause
I live for the applause-plause, live for the applause-plause
Live for the way that you cheer and scream for me
The applause, applause, applause.
- The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.
- Anybody's applause is better than nobody’s.
- Like Cato, give his little senate laws,
And sit attentive to his own applause.
- Alexander Pope, Prologue to the Satires (1735), line 207.
- Vos valete et plaudite.
- Fare ye well, and give us your applause.
- Terence, last words of several comedies. See his Eunuchus V, 9. 64; reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 37.