What is the Difference Between an Ovation and a Triumph and What Do the Words Mean?

A triumph was a Roman celebration of a military victory over an enemy of the state.

The victorious commander rode a chariot in a grand parade with his entire army and the booty and slaves he had won.

An ovation was a less elaborate honor for a general who had won victory without bloodshed, perhaps by treaty or reason.

He was denied a chariot and either walked or rode a horse during a less imposing ceremony.