adulation

noun
ad·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌa-jə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce adulation (audio) , -dyə, -də- \

Definition of adulation

: excessive or slavish admiration or flattery enjoys the adulation of his fans

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Other Words from adulation

adulate \ ˈa-​jə-​ˌlāt How to pronounce adulation (audio) , -​dyə-​ , -​də-​ \ transitive verb
adulator \ ˈa-​jə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce adulation (audio) \ noun
adulatory \ ˈa-​jə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce adulation (audio) \ adjective
adulatory crowds

Did You Know?

If "adulation" makes you think of a dog panting after its master, you're on the right etymological track; the word ultimately derives from the Latin verb adulari, meaning "to fawn on" (a sense used specifically of the affectionate behavior of dogs) or "to flatter." "Adulation," which came to us from Latin by way of Old French, can be traced back as far as the 14th century in English. The verb "adulate," the noun "adulator," and the adjective "adulatory" later joined the language.

Examples of adulation in a Sentence

The rugby player enjoyed the adulation of his fans. a writer who inspires adulation in her readers
Recent Examples on the Web Behind the adulation for Johnson from across the industry, however, came a sense of melancholy about the final years of his life. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Ron Johnson leaves behind a lifetime of memories for those he touched during his long career in baseball," 31 Jan. 2021 The violence inflicted on America Wednesday by Donald Trump and his mob shows how vulnerable our democracy is to a would-be authoritarian who craves power and adulation above all else. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Trump says classical buildings ‘encourage civic virtue,’ but his mob ransacked the classical U.S. Capitol with glee," 7 Jan. 2021 And for a man who likes to be serenaded with cheers and adulation, the turkeys can’t praise him for his benevolence. Washington Post, "Christmas tree, turkey pardon: The Trumps thankfully showed up," 24 Nov. 2020 The leader, hungry for adulation to compensate for an inner lack of self-worth, projects grandiose omnipotence—while the followers, rendered needy by societal stress or developmental injury, yearn for a parental figure. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "The ‘Shared Psychosis’ of Donald Trump and His Loyalists," 11 Jan. 2021 But that adulation hasn’t automatically extended to the SBTB universe’s expansion efforts. Washington Post, "The new ‘Saved by the Bell’ has a big advantage over other reboots: It’s really good," 23 Nov. 2020 As a then-intern at Pharrell’s streetwear brand Billionaire Boys Club, SZA’s admiration for Pharrell was a seemingly one-way adulation. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best Songs of 2020," 29 Dec. 2020 The President hadn’t gathered with supporters since March, and was eager to dive back into the pool of adulation. Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, "The Plague Year," 28 Dec. 2020 Negative comments poured in on social media, chastising the governor for his apparent self-adulation. Bradford Betz, Fox News, "Cuomo: ‘Santa’s going to be very good to me … I worked hard this year’," 22 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adulation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of adulation

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for adulation

Middle English adulacioun "insincere praise, flattery," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin adūlātiōn-, adūlātiō, from adūlārī "to fawn upon (of dogs), praise insincerely" (of uncertain origin) + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

Note: On the presumption that it is a denominal verb, Latin adūlārī has been compared with Sanskrit vāla-, vāra- "hair of a horse's tail, horsehair," Lithuanian valaĩ "horse's tail," though this is difficult both semantically and phonetically. More recently, the base of Latin avidus "greedy, eager" has been proposed as a source (see avid), via a prefixed *ad-awido-, syncopated to *ad-audo-, then with the second d dissimilated to l, yielding *adūlo-, "eagerly seeking something, flattering."

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Time Traveler for adulation

Time Traveler

The first known use of adulation was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adulation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adulation. Accessed 27 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for adulation

adulation

noun
ad·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌa-jə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce adulation (audio) \

Kids Definition of adulation

: very great admiration

More from Merriam-Webster on adulation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adulation

Britannica English: Translation of adulation for Arabic Speakers

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