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 The boys quickly change from receiving the adulation of the fans to becoming fans themselves, and this gives Amador a moment of good distraction. Dallas News, "With rare state title history on the line, Frisco Wakeland’s soccer teams are fueled by each other — and a little competition," 15 Apr. 2021 But gradually Lincoln kindled to his antislavery subject, started to appear almost incandescent, held his listeners rapt, and won not just applause but adulation. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, "Lincoln’s Rowdy America," 13 Apr. 2021 But in nature eggs are as much a seasonal crop as springtime delights like ramps or morels, and just as deserving of our adulation. Sarah Karnasiewicz, WSJ, "Ultimate Egg Recipes: A Guide to Spring’s Simple Luxury for Easter and Beyond," 1 Apr. 2021 Few of those listed above received the support and adulation Bradley enjoyed around here. Dan Shaughnessy,, "Wondering about Jackie Bradley Jr.s’ place in Red Sox lore, and other thoughts," 5 Mar. 2021 Among the conference’s thousands of attendees, adulation for Trump and support for another run was immense. Author: David Weigel, Michael Scherer, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump rules out third party as he moves to solidify control of Republican one," 1 Mar. 2021 Elgin Baylor never received the level of adulation from Lakers fans that other team legends received. Los Angeles Times, "Complete coverage: Elgin Baylor remembered as a pioneer, legend and leader," 22 Mar. 2021 The majority of Democrats representing New York have now called on the governor to leave office, an extraordinary vote of no confidence in a political leader who only recently had gained national adulation for his handling of the pandemic. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "Cuomo brands himself victim of ‘cancel culture’ as pressure to resign grows," 12 Mar. 2021 But, one minute into the second quarter, Jezelle Jolie Moreno was on the ground obliging her teammates in adulation. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Girls basketball playoffs: Frisco Liberty reaches the regional finals for a third straight season," 27 Feb. 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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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

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adulation

Britannica English: Translation of adulation for Arabic Speakers

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