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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Ovation \O*va"tion\, n. [L. ovatio, fr. ovare to exult, rejoice, triumph in an ovation; cf. Gr. ? to shout: cf. F. ovation.] 1. (Rom. Antiq.) A lesser kind of triumph allowed to a commander for an easy, bloodless victory, or a victory over slaves. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence: An expression of popular homage; the tribute of the multitude to a public favorite. [1913 Webster] To rain an April of ovation round Their statues. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster] 3. Especially: A prolonged applause for a person of group after a speech or performance. [PJC] standing ovation a prolonged applause during which the audience stands as a sign of special appreciation or admiration. [PJC]