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[oh-vey-shuh n] /oʊˈveɪ ʃən/
an enthusiastic public reception of a person, marked especially by loud and prolonged applause.
Roman History. the ceremonial entrance into Rome of a commander whose victories were of a lesser degree of importance than that for which a triumph was accorded.
Compare triumph (def 4).
Origin of ovation
1525-35; < Latin ovātiōn- (stem of ovātiō) a rejoicing, shouting, equivalent to ovāt(us) (past participle of ovāre to rejoice) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
ovational, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for ovation
  • Six hundred fur workers crowded the room and gave him an ovation of cheers and whistles.
  • Anyone who has the stockings to use kumquat in serious public discourse deserves a standing ovation.
  • The standing ovation came before a note of music had been sung.
  • In return, he got a mostly standing ovation from the several hundred audience members.
  • Who gave him the anticipatory ovation a rock star gets before he even said a word.
  • And the attendees stopped tweeting long enough to give him a standing ovation.
  • Louis fans do not require a record-breaking home run in exchange for a standing ovation.
  • He was rewarded with a roar of appreciation and a standing ovation.
  • She got a standing ovation from the audience but not much encouragement from the governor.
  • The performance was so vivid and vulnerable that the audience rose to offer a standing ovation.
British Dictionary definitions for ovation


an enthusiastic reception, esp one of prolonged applause: a standing ovation
a victory procession less glorious than a triumph awarded to a Roman general
Derived Forms
ovational, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin ovātiō rejoicing, from ovāre to exult
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for ovation

1530s, in the Roman historical sense, from Middle French ovation or directly from Latin ovationem (nominative ovatio) "a triumph, rejoicing," noun of action from past participle stem of ovare "exult, rejoice, triumph," probably imitative of a shout (cf. Greek euazein "to utter cries of joy"). In Roman history, a lesser triumph, granted to a commander for achievements insufficient to entitle him to a triumph proper. Figurative sense of "burst of enthusiastic applause from a crowd" is first attested 1831.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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