Applause, acclamation, acclaim and plaudits denote public expression of approbation.
Applause usually suggests loudness or liveliness of demonstration and often carries its literal implication of clapping hands.
- she waited until the applause died down
- round after round of applause greeted him
However, it may be used to designate any other noisy or emphatic expression of approval (as stamping of feet, cheering, or waving of flags).
- applause rang out from a hundred thousand throats
Acclamation adds to applause the implications of eagerness, enthusiasm, and often unanimity of assent: it often retains its basic implication of crying out.
- he was nominated to the office by acclamation without a ballot, and with emphatically voiced approval
- his speech was received with acclamation
Acclaim is more poetic than acclamation though often interchanged with the latter; it sometimes carries implications of loftier deeds and more enduring esteem than acclamation.
- the heroes were hailed with acclaim
- his poetry met with universal acclaim
Plaudits, though literally equal to applause, may suggest polite or gracious rather than demonstrative expressions of approval.
- the colonel bowed and smiled with very pleasant good nature at our plaudits