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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His progress from San Francisco eastward had been such an ovation as is only accorded to sovereignty.

  • The attitude had its effect; the applause began and grew to an ovation.

    Cy Whittaker's Place Joseph C. Lincoln
  • For a whole week he was fted, and at the close received an ovation that took all his self-control.

    Wagner as I Knew Him Ferdinand Christian Wilhelm Praeger
  • Diana's progress down the corridor partook of the nature of an ovation.

    Glory of Youth Temple Bailey
  • The crowd of men and boys on the green received him with quite an ovation.

    The Duke of Stockbridge Edward Bellamy
  • All, thought the delighted Meliora, was an ovation to her brother.

    Olive Dinah Maria Craik, (AKA Dinah Maria Mulock)
  • As the acknowledged orator of the evening he had an ovation afterward; introductions and unlimited hand-shakings were in order.

  • On the first anniversary of the Bastille he received an ovation.

    Lectures on the French Revolution John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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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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