Definition of ovation in English:



  • 1A sustained and enthusiastic show of appreciation from an audience, especially by means of applause.

    ‘the performance received a thundering ovation’
    • ‘York-based steel band Steel Expression added a modern twist to some festive classics and their version of Sleigh Ride received a long ovation from the audience.’
    • ‘The camaraderie among the students was such that there was thunderous applause and ovation for excellence, irrespective of the institution to which the performers belonged.’
    • ‘Their singing was beautiful and they received a rapturous ovation from the audience.’
    • ‘It also boasts the kind of ending that encourages an ovation from an enthusiastic audience.’
    • ‘The success of the evening was reflected in the sustained ovation accorded to the supremely talented duo, both of whom enjoy a wide international profile.’
    • ‘And all associated with the liturgy and celebration were warmly applauded and accorded an ovation at the end of the Mass.’
    • ‘Dozens walked out, banging doors behind them, but the great majority stayed, and gave the performance an enthusiastic ovation.’
    • ‘She gets applause, ovations, and laughs, but it's important to remember that those in the audience share her views.’
    • ‘Whatever the shortcomings of the staging, this was an enthralling occasion, received with a thunderous ovation.’
    • ‘And that's hardly surprising given the splendid performance he produced and the wonderful ovation he received from a Killarney audience that appreciated quality.’
    • ‘She arrived to an enthusiastic ovation and spoke, as she almost always does, quite extemporaneously.’
    • ‘The answer is yes, as evidenced by the loud ovations from an excited audience.’
    • ‘The young PAW team received a rousing ovation for giving the audience a demonstration of how they perform for the children.’
    • ‘In response to the audience's enthusiastic ovation Fleischman repeated the final Magyar dance movement.’
    • ‘I attended the opening night which received loud ovations from the audience at the end.’
    • ‘Needless to say, Mr Hoebig was accorded a huge ovation by the large audience, as well as his fellow musicians.’
    • ‘The students thought so, too, as they gave the Trunk two sustained ovations.’
    • ‘More than once the crowd stops the show with a sustained ovation.’
    • ‘The tension that normally accompanies such crucial and deciding matches was never evident and when the final whistle sounded, they stood their ground, giving their players an enthusiastic ovation.’
    • ‘He told the court how ‘thunderous applause’ and ovations greeted his announcement at the Federal Assembly that the currency would become convertible.’
    round of applause, applause, handclapping, clapping, cheering, cheers, bravos, acclaim, standing ovation, acclamation, praise, plaudits, laurels, tribute, accolade, bouquets
    View synonyms
  • 2Roman History
    A processional entrance into Rome by a victorious commander, of lesser honour than a triumph.


Early 16th century (in ovation (sense 2)): from Latin ovatio(n-), from ovare ‘exult’. The word had the sense ‘exultation’ from the mid 17th to early 19th century.