Definition of adulate in US English:



[with object]
  • Praise (someone) excessively or obsequiously.

    • ‘Audiences identify with the vocalist or adulate the lead guitarist; they don't notice the bass guitarist.’
    • ‘Louis's entry, then Conde's was a standard celebration of royal majesty, ‘an occasion to adulate the royal person’
    • ‘No one seemed to realize he was a hero-to-be about to go on his first adventure and should have been greatly adulated.’
    • ‘Anyway, since the '70s, when folks started adulating the '50s, the nostalgia industry has learned to mine and resell the best stuff from 20 years ago.’
    • ‘Earnestness was a quality the mid-Victorians adulated above all others (which was precisely why Oscar Wilde was prepared to be so irreverent towards it in the 1890s).’
    • ‘Probably no leader in world history has been so despised, adulated, and feared as Adolf Hitler.’
    • ‘There was supposed to be an adulating throng hanging from every rail, trumpet-blaring heralds lined side by side and perhaps even angels smiling down from above.’
    • ‘It is the antithesis of the still-prevailing Greek worldview which adulates logic and the laws of nature as absolute.’
    • ‘No school gyms of adulating audiences on their feet to cheer the genius, no comic book figures dropping bon mots could press those keys.’
    • ‘Douglas Hay and Norma Landau's examination of the legal system of eighteenth-century England leads them neither to adulate nor castigate; rather they appear to chide.’
    • ‘As the opening titles read, ‘Madame de… was a very lovely, elegant and adulated woman.’
    • ‘Yet the show doesn't so much advocate ethical breaches, as it adulates the magic of courtroom oratory and ‘out of the box’ thinking.’
    • ‘People will adulate - and imitate - writers, philosophers, political theorists, and college professors without subjecting their behavior to any moral scrutiny whatsoever.’
    • ‘Thespis, a satirical poem on the actors at Drury Lane, earned him the favour of David Garrick, whom he adulated.’
    • ‘It is directed by Juliet Abrahamson to provide locals and visitors with a feast of music from near and far, not overlooking the choir of King's College, known and adulated globally.’
    • ‘The Romans adulated and revered the god of conquest, Mars, son of Jupiter.’
    praise, applaud, cheer, commend, express approval of, approve, express admiration for, welcome, pay tribute to, speak highly of, eulogize, compliment, congratulate, celebrate, sing the praises of, praise to the skies, rave about, go into raptures about, go into raptures over, heap praise on, wax lyrical about, say nice things about, make much of, pat on the back, take one's hat off to, salute, throw bouquets at, lionize, exalt, admire, hail, toast, flatter, vaunt, extol, glorify, honour, hymn, clap
    View synonyms


Mid 18th century: from Latin adulat- ‘fawned on’, from the verb adulari.