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

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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 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 Banal scenes of Deutchman traveling to Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, where Rugoff retreated after losing his company and was rumored to be buried in a pauper’s grave, differ from Sugar Man’s fame-and-mass-adulation tale. Armond White, National Review, 25 Aug. 2021 Temporarily abandoning the prospect of mass adulation and yacht-club wealth, the duo of Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington pursued intimate and personal solo endeavors. Washington Post, 23 July 2021 Set amid a season of heavy legal dramas and lighter histrionic fare, Ms. Hilton’s oddball asides and eccentric behavior has sent the internet into paroxysms of adulation. New York Times, 19 Aug. 2021 Not for first place and the adulation that comes with winning one of Alaska’s most famous and extreme sporting events. Beth Bragg, Anchorage Daily News, 9 July 2021 The fighter, Guesh Girmy — a 51-year-old former police commander — soaked up the adulation, kissing his rifle and then blowing kisses into the crowd. New York Times, 29 June 2021 The fighter, Guesh Girmy — a 51-year-old former police commander — soaked up the adulation, kissing his rifle and then blowing kisses into the crowd., 29 June 2021 The adulation from both her guests and her teammates has been such that her spa director, Shane Bird, felt moved to nominate her for the recognition sponsored by the Forbes Travel Guide. Micah Solomon, Forbes, 15 June 2021 On Saturday Norman Powell was treated to the crowd’s adulation. Anne M. Peterson,, 30 May 2021

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

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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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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