A "claque" (KLAK) – from the French for "clap" – is a group of fawning admirers, sometimes hired to applaud at a performance.

Example (as used by Simon Hoggart in The Guardian): "Behind the hacks was the claque. They cheered and whooped in a vague way, like a group of restrained English persons at a Texas rodeo: ‘Whee! Whoooo! Polite cough!’"

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