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

Definition of adulation

: extreme or excessive admiration or flattery Celebrities often feed off the adulation of fans, but that acclaim can be fleeting and illusory.— Ruben Castenada During the campaign, he basked in the adulation of his fans and emphasized the promises that drew the biggest applause and the most retweets …— Peter Coy … she thought he'd be an egomaniac, spoiled by fame and public adulation.— Maureen Callahan … is only starting to reach the level of popular and critical adulation that bands work their entire lives to achieve …— Steve Kandell He had not fully understood his achievement until he returned home to an outpouring of adulation from local media.— David Müller

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from adulation

adulate \ ˈa-​jə-​ˌlāt How to pronounce adulation (audio) , -​dyə-​ , -​də-​ \ transitive verb adulated; adulating; adulates
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 adulation from both her guests and her teammates has been such that her spa director, Shane Bird, felt moved to nominate her for the recognition sponsored by the Forbes Travel Guide. Micah Solomon, Forbes, 15 June 2021 On Saturday Norman Powell was treated to the crowd’s adulation. Anne M. Peterson,, 30 May 2021 At 7 foot 1 and over 325 pounds, O’Neal’s larger-than-life personality and athleticism have resulted in worldwide adulation and one of the most passionate fan bases in sports and entertainment. The Indianapolis Star, 24 May 2021 Parroting Styles's style has become a form of adulation for his ardent fandom. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, 23 Apr. 2021 Individual story lines are pitted against one another for the grand prize of adulation and envy, mixed in with just enough sympathy to preserve a mirage of credible reality. Los Angeles Times, 24 May 2021 The band returned home from Rotterdam Sunday, landing at Leonardo da Vinci airport to great outpours of adulation from Italian fans and congratulations from the government. NBC News, 23 May 2021 Across the internet, felines’ beguiling fluidity and vaguely psychopathic tendencies spark a mixture of adulation and fear. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 12 May 2021 There is no true governing body for mountaineering, no single arbiter of what constitutes a feat worthy of adulation. New York Times, 12 May 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.

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

24 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adulation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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

More from Merriam-Webster on adulation

Britannica English: Translation of adulation for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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