ova·​tion | \ ō-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce ovation (audio) \

Definition of ovation

1 : a ceremony attending the entering of Rome by a general who had won a victory of less importance than that for which a triumph was granted
2 : an expression or demonstration of popular acclaim especially by enthusiastic applause received a standing ovation

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Synonyms & Antonyms for ovation


acclamation, applause, cheer, cheering, plaudit(s), rave(s), réclame


booing, hissing

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Examples of ovation in a Sentence

He was welcomed by a warm ovation when he came out onto the stage. received a standing ovation for the masterly performance

Recent Examples on the Web

Bob Barger, who piloted Navy planes during the war, received his associate’s degree from the University of Toledo in Ohio to a standing ovation, according to The Associated Press. Elizabeth Zwirz, Fox News, "World War II veteran, 96, receives college degree more than 60 years after his last class, report says," 2 Oct. 2018 Sources say that, after making it through to the end and bringing the house down with her performance to a standing ovation, Ariana later broke down in tears backstage. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Ariana Grande's Emotional Aretha Franklin Tribute Performance Is So Moving," 17 Aug. 2018 And after a two-out single by leadoff man Joey Rickard chased Gonzalez — albeit to a standing ovation from a partisan Nationals crowd — Jones singled to bring Manny Machado up with a rally to be had. Jon Meoli, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles' run-scoring woes continue in 6-0 Memorial Day loss to Nationals," 28 May 2018 Verlander exited to a roaring ovation from the 34,297 who bought a ticket inside Minute Maid Park, a minuscule number yet again on the scoreboard behind him. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Homesick: Astros' woes at MMP continue with shutout loss to Rangers," 12 May 2018 Dwyane Wade stood up, jogged over to the scorer’s table, hugged Goran Dragic and began his second stint with the Miami Heat to a standing ovation with five minutes and 19 seconds left in the opening quarter. Manny Navarro, miamiherald, "Wade’s return home begins with Heat putting an end to five-game skid versus Bucks," 10 Feb. 2018 Also at the breakfast Thursday, Ryan, who received two standing ovations, alluded to his upcoming departure. Ashley Killough, CNN, "Paul Ryan says America needs Catholicism weeks after failed chaplain ousting," 24 May 2018 Both men received standing ovations before and after their speeches for their efforts. Ameer Hasan Loggins, The Root, "The NFL Is Being Guided by an Immoral Compass," 10 May 2018 Legendary coach Bobby Bowden, who received several ovations, and his longtime defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews served as honorary captains for the Garnet and Gold teams. Safid Deen, OrlandoSentinel.com, "FSU coach Willie Taggart honors Seminoles' past during high energy spring game," 15 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ovation.' 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 ovation

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ovation

Latin ovation-, ovatio, from ovare to exult; akin to Greek euoi, interjection used in bacchic revels

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Statistics for ovation

Last Updated

20 May 2019

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Time Traveler for ovation

The first known use of ovation was in 1533

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English Language Learners Definition of ovation

: an occurrence in which a group of people at a play, speech, sporting event, etc., show enthusiastic approval or appreciation by clapping their hands together over and over


ova·​tion | \ ō-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce ovation (audio) \

Kids Definition of ovation

: an expression of approval or enthusiasm made by clapping or cheering

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More from Merriam-Webster on ovation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ovation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ovation

Spanish Central: Translation of ovation

Nglish: Translation of ovation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ovation for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ovation

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


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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