noun: A group of people hired to applaud at a performance.
From French claque, from claquer (to clap), of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1864.
Although a claque is usually hired to applaud, sometimes it is also used to heckle at a rival’s performance. Then there are moirologists(hired mourners at a funeral).
“The publicist even trained both the singer [Frank Sinatra] and his claques in the art of call-and-response.”
James Kaplan; Frank; Doubleday; 2010.
Read this fascinating extract about claques from the above book.
Explore “claque” in the Visual Thesaurus.