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

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 For example, Mielke swears by an Esteé Lauder lipstick that doesn’t get much popular adulation. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The “best” lipstick probably won’t change your life — but the search for it can," 12 Dec. 2018 The visibility and adulation for the founder-CEO can often allocate the resources of society towards that kind of entrepreneurship, rather than the more common kind, which is opening a nail salon or a law practice. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "CEOs have never been more idolized. 5 experts explain why that’s a problem.," 29 Nov. 2018 Apparently public excoriation is just a few dollar signs away from public adulation and so Miller upped the ante. Charlotte Hilton Andersen, Redbook, "Young Girls in Burlesque Dance Number: Horrifying or Innocent Fun?," 8 Mar. 2012 Even Deng Xiaoping, for all his personal power, discouraged personal adulation as a dangerous remnant of Mao’s time. Chris Buckley, New York Times, "China’s New ‘Helmsman’ Offers a Strident Nationalist Message," 20 Mar. 2018 Much of this took place before dawn, hours before the Eagles rolled up Broad in a caravan of green buses, amid bursts of green and white confetti, and adulation from fans clogging the sidewalks four and five deep. Aubrey Whelan,, "Eagles Super Bowl parade: A celebration for the ages," 8 Feb. 2018 Back then Sandoval was a two-time All-Star third baseman with a World Series MVP trophy on his resume and hubris built by constant adulation and repeated success. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Prodigal Panda: Pablo Sandoval enjoying renaissance with Giants," 29 June 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

29 May 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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showing courage and determination

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