AskDefine | Define acclamation

Dictionary Definition

acclamation n : enthusiastic approval; "the book met with modest acclaim"; "he acknowledged the plaudits of the crowd"; "they gave him more eclat than he really deserved" [syn: acclaim, plaudits, plaudit, eclat]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin acclamatio: compare French acclamation



  1. A shout of approbation, favor, or assent; eager expression of approval; loud applause.
    On such a day, a holiday having been voted by acclamation, an ordinary walk would not satisfy the children. -Southey.
  2. The process of electing a person to a post in the absence of other nominees.
  3. (Antiques): A representation, in sculpture or on medals, of people expressing joy.
    Acclamation medals are those on which laudatory acclamations are recorded. - Elmes
  4. In the context of "Canadian": Without opposition in an election.
    With no one running against her, she won by 'Acclamation.


election of a standby
  • Dutch: zonder hoofdelijke stemming, met algemene instemming

Extensive Definition

An acclamation, in its most common sense, is a form of election that does not use a ballot. "Acclamation" or "acclamatio" can also signify a kind of ritual greeting and expression of approval in certain social contexts in ancient Rome.


The most frequent type of acclamation is a voice vote, in which the voting group is asked who favors and who opposes the proposed candidate. In the event of a lack of opposition, the candidate is considered elected.
This form of election is most commonly associated with papal elections (see Acclamation in papal elections), though this method was discontinued by Pope John Paul II's apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis . It is also sometimes found in the context of parliamentary decisions, or United States presidential nominating conventions.
In Canada, a candidate for a parliamentary, legislative or municipal position is said to be elected by acclamation if he or she has no opponents for the seat, an eventuality that rarely occurs except for legislative elections in the northern territories and municipal elections. The last instance of an acclamation in an election to the Canadian House of Commons was in 1957 when George Henry Doucett was acclaimed in a by-election following the death of his predecessor William Gourlay Blair.
At general meetings in listed companies in Sweden, shareholders often vote by acclamation.


In liturgical Christian Churches, the Acclamations are the opening sentences at the beginning of the Eucharist.

In ancient Rome

main article acclamatio
Acclamations were ritual verbal expressions of approval and benediction in public (e.g. the gladiatorial games) and private life. The departure and return of imperial magistrates was, for example, accompanied by acclamation. In the later empire, these vocal expressions of goodwill were reserved for the emperor and certain relatives, who were greeted in this manner during public appearances on special occasions such as their birthdays. By the 4th century AD, acclamations were compulsory for high-level imperial officials.

See also


  • John N. Wall. A Dictionary for Episcopalians. Cambridge, MA: Cowley Publications, 2000.
acclamation in German: Akklamation
acclamation in Lithuanian: Aklamacija
acclamation in Polish: Aklamacja
acclamation in Ukrainian: Акламація

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acclaim, accord, accordance, agreement, agreement of all, applause, big hand, burst of applause, cheer, chorus, clap, clapping, clapping of hands, common assent, common consent, concert, concord, concordance, concurrence, consensus, consensus gentium, consensus of opinion, consensus omnium, consent, consentaneity, eclat, encore, general acclamation, general agreement, general consent, general voice, hand, handclap, handclapping, harmony, like-mindedness, meeting of minds, mutual understanding, one accord, one voice, ovation, plaudit, plaudits, popularity, round of applause, same mind, single voice, thunder of applause, total agreement, unanimity, unanimousness, understanding, unison, universal agreement
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