AskDefine | Define adoration

Dictionary Definition



1 a feeling of profound love and admiration [syn: worship]
2 the act of admiring strongly [syn: idolization, idolisation]
3 worship given to God alone [syn: latria]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Lation adoratio , from adorare, adore



  1. An act of religious worship.
    • 1779 (pub.), David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
      We incessantly look forward, and endeavour, by prayers, adoration, and sacrifice, to appease those unknown powers, whom we find, by experience, so able to afflict and oppress us.
  2. Admiration or esteem.
    • 1890, Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
      ...if she can create the sense of beauty in people whose lives have been sordid and ugly...she is worthy of all your adoration, worthy of the adoration of the world.
  3. The act of adoring; loving devotion or fascination.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Adoration (Latin) is to give homage or worship to someone or something.

Ancient Rome

Ad, to, and ora, mouth; (i.e. "carrying to one's mouth "), primarily an act of homage or worship, which, among the Romans, was performed by raising the hand to the mouth, kissing it and then waving it in the direction of the adored object. The devotee had his head covered, and after the act turned himself round from left to right. Sometimes he kissed the feet or knees of the images of the gods themselves, and Saturn and Hercules were adored with the head bare.
By a gradual transition the homage, at first paid to divine beings alone, came to be paid to monarchs. Thus the Greek and Roman emperors were adored by bowing or kneeling, laying hold of the imperial robe, and presently withdrawing the hand and pressing it to the lips, or by putting the royal robe itself to the lips.

Ancient Middle East

In Eastern countries adoration has been performed in an attitude still more lowly. The Persian method, introduced by Cyrus, was to bend the knee and fall on the face at the prince's feet, striking the earth with the forehead and kissing the ground. This striking of the earth with the forehead, usually a fixed number of times, is the form of adoration usually paid to Eastern potentates even today.
The Jews kissed in homage. Thus in I Kings xix. 18, God is made to say, "Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." And in Psalms ii. 12, "Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way." (See also Hosea xiii. 2.)

Western Europe

In Western Europe the ceremony of kissing the sovereign's hand, and some other acts which are performed kneeling, may be described as forms of adoration.

Catholic Church

Adoration is applied in the Catholic Church to God alone. Adoration in the Catholic Church is also applied to the act of worship before the Eucharist.
All other forms of showing respect would be more properly be called acts of veneration, such as the kissing of images of Jesus and the saints, and the cross on Good Friday. Among Catholics a distinction is made between latria, the worship (adoration) due to God alone, Dulia, the veneration given to the saints and Hyperdulia, the veneration given to the Virgin Mary.
Other gestures associated with adoration of the eucharist include: bowing, making the sign of the cross, and genuflection.

See also


adoration in Lithuanian: Adoracija
adoration in Spanish: Adoración

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Amor, Christian love, Eros, Platonic love, admiration, affection, agape, apotheosis, appreciation, approbation, approval, ardency, ardor, attachment, awe, bodily love, breathless adoration, brotherly love, caritas, charity, churchgoing, co-worship, conformity, conjugal love, consideration, courtesy, crush, cult, cultism, cultus, deference, deification, desire, devotedness, devotion, devoutness, dulia, dutifulness, duty, esteem, estimation, exaggerated respect, faith, faithful love, faithfulness, fancy, favor, fervor, flame, fondness, free love, free-lovism, great respect, heart, hero worship, high regard, homage, honor, hyperdulia, idolatry, idolism, idolization, infatuation, lasciviousness, latria, libido, like, liking, love, love of God, lovemaking, married love, observance, passion, physical love, pietism, piety, piousness, popular regard, popularity, prestige, prostration, regard, religion, religionism, religiousness, respect, reverence, reverential regard, sentiment, sex, sexual love, shine, spiritual love, tender feeling, tender passion, theism, transcendent wonder, truelove, uxoriousness, veneration, weakness, worship, worshipfulness, worshiping, yearning
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