• synonyms


[aj-uh-ley-shuh n]
  1. excessive devotion to someone; servile flattery.
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Origin of adulation

Middle English < Middle French < Latin adūlātiōn- (stem of adūlātiō) servile flattery, fawning, equivalent to adūlāt(us), past participle of adūlārī, -āre to fawn upon (of dogs), apparently a nominal derivative, with ad- ad-, of an otherwise unattested base + -iōn- -ion
Related formsad·u·la·to·ry [aj-uh-luh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈædʒ ə ləˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectiveself-ad·u·la·tion, nounself-ad·u·la·to·ry, adjectiveun·ad·u·lat·ing, adjectiveun·ad·u·la·to·ry, adjective


verb (used with object), ad·u·lat·ed, ad·u·lat·ing.
  1. to show excessive admiration or devotion to; flatter or admire servilely.
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Origin of adulate

First recorded in 1770–80; back formation from adulation
Related formsad·u·la·tion, nounad·u·la·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for adulations

applause, commendation, flattery, worship, blandishment, sycophancy, fawning, bootlicking

Examples from the Web for adulations

Historical Examples of adulations

  • Afterwards the memory of these adulations was a great sadness.

    End of the Tether

    Joseph Conrad

  • The Phnicians who surrounded the king lavished upon him adulations borrowed from paganism.

    The Apostles

    Ernest Renan

  • But we neither sought their friendship, nor coveted their adulations.

  • Is there no retributive justice dogging his heels, from which all the glories and adulations of earth cannot shield him?

    The Life of Thomas Wanless, Peasant

    Alexander Johnstone Wilson

  • A few days before, the adulations and applauses of a nation were sounding in her ears, and now she was come to this!

    A Tramp Abroad, Complete

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

British Dictionary definitions for adulations


  1. (tr) to flatter or praise obsequiously
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Derived Formsadulator, noun

Word Origin for adulate

C17: back formation from C15 adulation, from Latin adūlāri to flatter


  1. obsequious flattery or praise; extreme admiration
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for adulations



1777, back-formation from adulation.

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late 14c., "insincere praise," from Old French adulacion, from Latin adulationem (nominative adulatio) "a fawning; flattery, cringing courtesy," noun of action from past participle stem of aduliari "to flatter," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + ulos "tail," from PIE *ul- "the tail" (cf. Sanskrit valah "tail," Lithuanian valai "horsehair of the tail"). The original notion is "to wag the tail" like a fawning dog (cf. Greek sainein "to wag the tail," also "to flatter;" see also wheedle).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper