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 \ -​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce adulator (audio) \ noun
adulatory \ -​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

As the pro-United States crowd filling the stadium erupted in cheers, Rapinoe jogged toward the corner flag, uncurled a slow pirouette and lifted her arms to either side, like a bullfighter awash in adulation. Andrew Keh, New York Times, "U.S. Wins World Cup and Becomes a Champion for Its Time," 7 July 2019 But some of the adulation—and, not incidentally, criticism—that the team has attracted, at home and abroad, has less to do with the stats and scorelines, and more to do with what the team represents: the United States of America. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "World Cup 2019: The U.S. Women’s Team Wins and Leaves the Stage as a New Kind of American Role Model," 7 July 2019 The adulation of a Midwestern sports monolith await Pujols. Andy Mccullough,, "Albert Pujols’ return to St. Louis set for adulation, not condemnation," 20 June 2019 The success and public adulation that surround Topgun belie the 1960s-era failures that spawned it. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Topgun at 50: Navy flight program that spawned popular movie wrestles with its legacy," 16 June 2019 This adulation of Raman in Kerala is symbolic of the state’s relationship with elephants. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "This elephant-obsessed Indian state is finally stepping in to protect abused captive animals," 13 June 2019 Team Trump also must remember that the 2018 campaign is about persuading swing voters, not winning the adulation of crowds at rallies. Karl Rove, WSJ, "Sobering News for the House GOP," 25 July 2018 James Cook to the far side of the world, the naval vessel HM Bark Endeavour continues to inspire adulation, most of all in Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. A. Roger Ekirch, WSJ, "‘Endeavour’ Review: The Floating Laboratory," 17 May 2019 There were times earlier in his career when Woods seemed almost impervious to that kind of adulation. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Brooks Koepka Wins the PGA Championship," 12 Aug. 2018

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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Last Updated

10 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for adulation

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

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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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something desired as essential

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