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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from adulation

adulate \ ˈa-​jə-​ˌlāt How to pronounce adulate (audio) , -​dyə-​ , -​də-​ \ transitive verb
adulator \ ˈa-​jə-​ˌlā-​tər How to pronounce adulator (audio) \ noun
adulatory \ ˈa-​jə-​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 The last pair standing wins gold medals and global adulation. The Economist, "Citius, Altius, Fortnite Why the next Olympics should include Fortnite," 27 June 2020 To capture the eccentric adulation of the contest’s audience, Dobkin opted for the real deal, flying to Tel Aviv for the 2019 final. Ruth Kinane,, "How Eurovision Song Contest director recreated the annual extravaganza for Netflix movie," 24 June 2020 Trump loves the rallies as a chance to deliver his message unfiltered, aides said, and to bask in the adulation of his supporters. David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump to host rallies in Florida, Oklahoma, Arizona, North Carolina," 10 June 2020 My time as a basketball writer mirrored Jordan’s career in length if not in terms of championships and worldwide adulation. David Moore, Dallas News, "Margaritas and soaking rain: ‘The Last Dance’ brings back fond Michael Jordan memories for SportsDay’s David Moore," 16 May 2020 And while many doctors are thankful for public displays of appreciation like the 7 p.m. clapping that's erupted nightly in cities across the country, others feel too guilty to appreciate the adulation, said Masood. NBC News, "Hotline manned by psychiatrists helps coronavirus doctors in distress," 28 Apr. 2020 Some of that trust has been corroded over years of Obama adulation, echo chambers, conspiracy mongering, and knee-jerk partisanship. David Harsanyi, National Review, "The Political Media Are Failing America," 26 Mar. 2020 The solemn visit to the airfield was a contrast to the rally, where Trump reveled in his supporters’ adulation and mocked his political rivals. Jordan Fabian,, "Trump Says Senate Gave Him ‘Full, Complete’ Acquittal in Trial," 10 Feb. 2020 He is reserved and seems to dislike popular adulation. oregonlive, "President Charles Lindbergh leads a fascist administration in ‘Plot Against America,’ but real Lindy was ‘rather inept’ as politician," 27 Mar. 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.

See More

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."

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about adulation

Time Traveler for adulation

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about adulation

Statistics for adulation

Last Updated

5 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for adulation


ad·​u·​la·​tion | \ ˌa-jə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce adulation (audio) \

Kids Definition of adulation

: very great admiration

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on adulation

What made you want to look up adulation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!