1) As a verb it had a variety of meanings but could describe the action of bringing the hand down sharply on a person or an object.

1676 Jeremiah Hainworth ... clapt Joseph Priestley upon the shoulder and asked him why he did not discover [reveal] it sooner, Clayton. It could also be to sit down promptly: 1684 he cross’d over to them, which they espying clapt them down in a sheep track, Bradfield.

dates 1676 1684

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