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 \ 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 No more: Reagan has virtually disappeared, replaced by Donald Trump as the object of all Republican adulation and reverence. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "Trump’s Republican Party Is Erasing Reagan’s Memory," 31 Aug. 2020 And though other members of the 2016 crew were unavailable, their replacements hit the same notes of hysterical fear and adulation. The Economist, "Lexington Hail to the king," 29 Aug. 2020 After a sensational 500 miles, Sato deserved the opportunity to bask in the adulation of hundreds of thousands of fans who would have gladly showered it upon him. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Dear Indianapolis 500 fans: We missed you," 24 Aug. 2020 Paul suffered broken fingers and became the focus of public adulation as a seemingly miraculous survivor of the horror. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited Paul in the hospital. Morgan Lee, Star Tribune, "Orphaned toddler grows up in shadow of massacre, coronavirus," 2 Aug. 2020 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

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

15 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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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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