- excessive devotion to someone; servile flattery.
verb (used with object), ad·u·lat·ed, ad·u·lat·ing.
- to show excessive admiration or devotion to; flatter or admire servilely.
- (tr) to flatter or praise obsequiously
- obsequious flattery or praise; extreme admiration
1777, back-formation from adulation.
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).