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The Devil's Dictionary:    

Definition of Ovation

  OVATION   noun
n ancient Rome, a definite, formal pageant in honor of one who had been disserviceable to the enemies of the nation. A lesser 'triumph.'  In modern English the word is improperly used to signify any loose and spontaneous expression of popular homage to the hero of the hour and place.
  'I had an ovation!' the actor man said,
      But I thought it uncommonly queer,
  That people and critics by him had been led
          By the ear.

  The Latin lexicon makes his absurd
      Assertion as plain as a peg;
  In 'ovum' we find the true root of the word.
          It means egg.

Dudley Spink

Devil's Dictionarydefinition from:
The Devil's Dictionary
by Ambrose Bierce, 1911


Last updated: 9/3/2011 12:48:30