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 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 On a cultural level, putting an end to the practice and adulation of workplace bullying and abuse in the pursuit of awards like Michelin stars would have a huge, multigenerational impact on the chefs and managers who come out of those kitchens. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, "The restaurant equity revolution will not be Instagrammed," 21 Dec. 2020 Such displays may strike us as cringeworthy in certain ways—it’s not the point of public service to court mass adulation, after all. Kyle Edward Williams, The New Republic, "The End of the Businessman President," 9 Dec. 2020 Still, the issue of the Russia investigation could animate grassroots Republicans for the foreseeable future, and Pompeo could be laying down a marker with his adulation of Barr's role in winding down the inquiry. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "'Crushed propaganda generated by Mueller': Pompeo commends Barr," 15 Dec. 2020 With her ego bruised, possibly gone, the id has stepped in to fill the void and have a field day insulting her friends, soaking up the vacant social media adulation, disregarding advice to get actual support. New York Times, "Dear Academy: Please Give Cher Another Oscar," 10 Dec. 2020 One knows that these words were always his comments to attempt to alter reality for his adulation and or contempt of others. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Readers React: Your Say: Trump 2024?," 4 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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The first known use of adulation was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adulation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/adulation. Accessed 17 Jan. 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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