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

Definition of adulation

: extreme or excessive admiration or flattery Celebrities often feed off the adulation of fans, but that acclaim can be fleeting and illusory.— Ruben Castenada During the campaign, he basked in the adulation of his fans and emphasized the promises that drew the biggest applause and the most retweets …— Peter Coy … she thought he'd be an egomaniac, spoiled by fame and public adulation.— Maureen Callahan … is only starting to reach the level of popular and critical adulation that bands work their entire lives to achieve …— Steve Kandell He had not fully understood his achievement until he returned home to an outpouring of adulation from local media.— David Müller

Other Words from adulation

adulate \ ˈa-​jə-​ˌlāt How to pronounce adulation (audio) , -​dyə-​ , -​də-​ \ transitive verb adulated; adulating; adulates
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 beloved person, you're on the right etymological track; the word ultimately comes from the Latin verb adūlārī, meaning "to fawn on" (a sense used specifically of the affectionate behavior of dogs) or "to praise insincerely." Adulation has been in use in English since the 15th century. The verb adulate, noun adulator, and adjective adulatory later followed dutifully behind.

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 Steve’s increasingly hollow words contain echoes of certain powerful men whose insufficient relationships with their fathers fostered insatiable needs for success and adulation. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 16 June 2022 Alas for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the adulation isn’t of him. Christina Boyle, Los Angeles Times, 11 Mar. 2022 Fans chanted his name and lavished him with the kind of pure adulation that even Novak Djokovic, for instance, rarely receives in Paris. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 26 May 2022 Over the course of the six-week-and-counting trial, Vasquez has generated admiration, speculation and adulation online. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 25 May 2022 The most memorable part of Top Gun: Maverick — and the scenes that will make new generations swell with pride and adulation for good old American heroism — are the dogfights and tactical maneuvers of the pilots. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 May 2022 Still, the fizz and adulation has nearly always entailed an element of activism. Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2022 Don’t expect a medal or adulation for doing something normal like emptying the dishwasher or taking care of your own children. oregonlive, 22 Feb. 2022 Freed from the complexities of language or the context of history, the former president spins a dreamscape of adulation and triumph. Washington Post, 11 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

23 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Adulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for adulation


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

Britannica English: Translation of adulation for Arabic Speakers


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