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clap (one) in irons

To put one in jail, often abruptly. "Irons" refers to shackles or handcuffs. They'll clap you in irons if you abandon your post!
See also: clap, iron

clap (one) in jail

To put one in jail, often abruptly. You can't just clap someone in jail! What are the charges here?
See also: clap, jail

clap (one) in(to) (something or some place)

1. To force one into a particular place, especially jail. You can't just clap him into a jail cell without any explanation!
2. To force one to wear some device for confining the hands or feet, such as handcuffs. All of a sudden, they clapped him in handcuffs and led him to the police car.
See also: clap

clap (something) on(to) (something)

To attach something to another object or a surface. You can't just clap fliers onto the wall outside my classroom—that's what the bulletin boards are for!
See also: clap

clap (something) together

To slap or smack two things together, typically resulting in a clapping noise. Please clap your shoes together outside to get the dirt out of them. He clapped his hands together to the music of the band.
See also: clap, together

clap back

1. verb To respond to an insult or criticism, sometimes in a vengeful manner. She calmly clapped back at critics by asserting that her weight is none of their business. I'm not proud of it, but I did clap back at the girl who stole my boyfriend by starting a vicious rumor about her.
2. noun A response to an insult or criticism, sometimes in a vengeful manner. I'm not great at the clap back because I get easily flustered by criticism. Her clap back was a vicious rumor targeting the girl that stole her boyfriend.
See also: back, clap

clap eyes on (someone or something)

To look at or see someone or something. Honestly, I loved my wife the minute I clapped eyes on her. I haven't clapped eyes on that book in weeks, so good luck finding it in my office!
See also: clap, eye, on

clap hold of (someone or something)

To grasp or grab onto someone or something quickly or suddenly. Luckily, Seth was able to clap hold of the dog's leash and pull him back into the yard. I tried to clap hold of her before she fell off the step, but it happened too fast.
See also: clap, hold, of

clap on

1. To put something, such as an article of clothing, on very quickly and forcefully. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clap" and "on." The man clapped on his hat and hurried out the door. The knight clapped on his armor and mounted his horse in preparation for battle.
2. To attach something to something else very quickly and forcefully. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clap" and "on." I clapped the lid back on the pot after the chef yelled at me for removing it.
3. To strike someone lightly but firmly with an open hand on a particular part of their body. A noun or pronoun is used between "clap" and "on." Everyone clapped me on the back to congratulate me for the victory.
See also: clap, on

clap out

To clap one's hands along to the beat of a song, typically so that one can learn it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "clap" and "out." You clap out the beat, and I'll try to play it on the bass.
See also: clap, out


In poor condition due to overuse or age. This phrase is often applied to cars. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. You can hear her clapped-out car coming from a mile away because the engine is in such poor condition.

golf clap

1. noun An instance of applause performed in a quiet, restrained manner. Typical of spectators at a golf course, where it is traditional to maintain a quiet, restrained atmosphere. Elsewhere, it can be done in a humorous or mocking way. You're performing in a museum—you're only going to get a golf clap here, not wild cheers. All I got for my effort was golf claps—really?
2. verb To clap in such a way. The crowd golf clapped and murmured in appreciation of the player's massive drive. You don't have to golf clap here—let's see some enthusiasm, folks!
See also: clap, golf

lay (one's) eyes on (something)

To see or look at someone or something, especially for the first time. A possessive adjective can be used between "lay" and "eyes." I'll never forget the first time I laid eyes on my son. That sunset may be the most beautiful thing I've ever laid my eyes on. He knew he had to buy the watch from the minute he laid his eyes on it.
See also: eye, lay, on

set eyes on (someone or something)

To look at or see someone or something. Honestly, I loved my wife the minute I set eyes on her. I haven't set eyes on that book in weeks, so good luck finding it in my office!
See also: eye, on, set
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

clap eyes on someone or something

to see someone or something, perhaps for the first time; to set eyes on someone or something. I wish she had never clapped eyes on her fiancé. I haven't clapped eyes on a red squirrel for years.
See also: clap, eye, on

clap someone in(to) some place

to shove or push someone into a place, usually jail. Be good or the sheriff will clap you into jail. The cops clapped Max into a cell.
See also: clap, place

clap something on(to) something

to slap or attack something onto something else. The police came and clapped a sign onto the car saying it was abandoned. Do not clap any signs on my fence.
See also: clap, on

clap something out

to clap the rhythmic beat of something in order to learn it. (Said of music.) All right, now. Let's clap the rhythm out. We'll clap out the rhythm in time with our singing.
See also: clap, out

clap something together

to slap two things, usually hands, together so that they make a noise. The boys clapped their hands together whenever a goal was scored. One of the orchestra members clapped two blocks of wood together periodically, making a very loud noise.
See also: clap, together
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

clap eyes on

see under lay eyes on.
See also: clap, eye, on

lay eyes on

Also, clap or set eyes on . Look at, see, as in As soon as I laid eyes on him I knew he would be perfect for the lead in our play, or I'd never set eyes on such a beautiful gown. The first term dates from the early 1200s and the third from the late 1300s; the second, using clap in the sense of "a sudden movement," dates from the first half of the 1800s.
See also: eye, lay, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

clap someone in jail (or irons)

put someone in prison (or in chains).
The meaning of clap in these idioms is somewhat removed from the original one of ‘make a sudden explosive sound’. Over time the word developed the additional sense of ‘make a sudden action’, without necessarily implying any sound.
See also: clap, jail, someone

clap (or lay or set) eyes on

see. informal
1992 Barry Unsworth Sacred Hunger If we go by the indications of the play, these two charmers have never clapped eyes on a man before, never flirted, never known the sweets of love.
See also: clap, eye, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

clap/lay/set ˈeyes on somebody/something

(informal) see somebody/something: I’ve no idea who she is. I’ve never clapped eyes on her before.The moment I set eyes on the house, I knew I would live there.
See also: clap, eye, lay, on, set, somebody, something
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


n. a case of gonorrhea. (Very old and still in use.) He thinks he got the clap from her.


n. a quiet kind of “patting” applause like that made in golf tournaments. (One had quietly claps against the back of the other hand.) The audience sat there throughout. Not even a little golf clap. I think our act is washed up.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


/lay/set (one's) eyes on
To look at.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
However, following a speech by a Liberal Democrat councillor the rest of the Lib Dem group clapped and cheered.
One pattern I watched, clapped to the four-beats-to-a-bar tune, was a six-beat pattern where the first clap, an introduction to the main pattern, was clapped with hands held with palms horizontal to the ground, left hand facing down, right hand facing up.
They clapped. He stopped speaking for a moment, looked around, and tried again.
The experimenter started the first demonstration trial by presenting a small card showing Al, clapped twice, asked the child to do the same, and praised the child for correct imitation (i.e., clapping once or twice).
Buzz Cut must have clapped a layer of skin off his hands and laughed himself hoarse.
"Sunday Evening," for example, attempts to express the excitement of witnessing a Ramsey Lewis performance, but the fusion of Moore's unmodulated pitch and an excessive repetition of words - "move, move"; "pluck, pluck"; "claps, claps"; "rhythm, rhythm" - produces, for me, monotony more than jazz (although, to be fair, I should add that the audience clapped after Moore read this poem).
Human listeners, however, were not very good at identifying individuals by the way they clapped. In fact, Repp discovered in his experiment that although the average sound spectra for males and for females were practically identical, people tended to assume, wrongly, that females clap more quickly than males.
Pardew spent Monday's 90 minutes listening to Newcastle supporters calling for his head yet he still clapped them at the final whistle.
"When they scored the first goal I clapped but I didn't jump up and down.
It wasn't us who was getting clapped, we were clapping the supporters today.''
If the participant clapped in the presence of A1, the experimenter praised this behavior.
When young Joash was crowned king of Israel, however, 'the people clapped their hands and shouted .
But he then clapped as he was leaving the pitch and the FA are awaiting the report from match referee Andre Marriner today before deciding whether to investigate his reaction.
She said they stood and clapped after the first song at the LG Arena, Birmingham, before a man behind them poked Lyn in the ribs and told her to "f*** sit down".