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 adulate (audio) , -​dyə-​ , -​də-​ \ transitive verb
adulator \ ˈa-​jə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce adulator (audio) \ noun
adulatory \ ˈa-​jə-​lə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce adulatory (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 There isn’t much out there to replace the roar and adulation of the crowd. oregonlive, "What will Joe Moorhead do with Oregon’s offense? And, helping troubled athletes: Issues & Answers," 23 Jan. 2020 Its early success and adulation from investors and fellow entrepreneur community notwithstanding, Zivame’s growth story began faltering as the co-founders struggled to scale-up. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Zivame’s strategy to be the perfect fit for India’s lingerie market: personalise, price right, go omnichannel," 30 Oct. 2019 But the whole light show of recrimination and adulation is designed to keep the brand attuned to its shoppers. Fortune, "Old Navy Is About to Sail Away From Gap Inc.—and Into Some Choppy Waters," 24 Sep. 2019 The co-occurrence of these crises suggested that the Media Lab had, in a general way, lost its moral bearings in pursuit of money and public adulation, and amid the pressure to produce civilization-shaping new ideas. Noam Cohen, Wired, "Dirty Money and Bad Science at MIT's Media Lab," 16 Jan. 2020 Kanter is not known for his defense, but was happy to soak up some rare rim-protecting adulation after this win., "Six of them came during an important stretch at the start of the fourth quarter. The Hornets, who lingered for much of the night without ever really appearing to be a threat, pulled within 80-75 in the opening minute of the final period.," 1 Jan. 2020 Any Employee who fails to convey proper adulation and ask for the recipe will be forced to meet with Zagan’s third head, who just had Lasik and can’t wait to tell you about it. Briana Haynie And Ysabel Yates, The New Yorker, "New-Employee Contract for Our Cursed Office," 29 Oct. 2019 Both cars have received enough adulation from owners and media to persuade their parent companies to continue to produce them: The Miata is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and the TT Roadster its 20th (the TT Coupe launched in 1998). Sue Callaway, Los Angeles Times, "Driven: These rockstar sports cars are fast, furious — and affordable," 19 Sep. 2019 When he’s done, another muscled man leans over the fence for a selfie, and then another and another, a chain reaction of adulation lining his way. Tessa Love, Outside Online, "Greg Glassman’s Easy Health Care Fix: More CrossFit," 16 Jan. 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

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

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on adulation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adulation

Spanish Central: Translation of adulation

Britannica English: Translation of adulation for Arabic Speakers

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