poet laureate

poet laureate


: a poet who is honored by being chosen for an official position by a ruler or government

plural poets laureate or poet laureates

Full Definition of POET LAUREATE

:  a poet honored for achievement
a :  a poet appointed for life by an English sovereign as a member of the royal household and formerly expected to compose poems for court and national occasions
b :  a poet appointed annually by the United States Library of Congress as a consultant and typically involved in the promotion of poetry
:  one regarded by a country or region as its most eminent or representative poet

First Known Use of POET LAUREATE

15th century


poet laureate

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Title first granted in England for poetic excellence. Begun in 1616, the office was formally established in 1668 and has been continuous since then. Its holder, a salaried member of the British royal household, was formerly expected to compose poems for court or national occasions, but since the appointment of William Wordsworth in 1843 the office has been a reward for eminence in poetry and has carried no specific duties. In 1985 the U.S. government created the title of poet laureate, to be held by the consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress.


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