lau·​re·​ate | \ˈlȯr-ē-ət, ˈlär-\

Definition of laureate 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: the recipient of honor or recognition for achievement in an art or science a Nobel laureate specifically : poet laureate


lau·​re·​ate | \ˈlȯr-ē-ˌāt, ˈlär-\
laureated; laureating

Definition of laureate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to crown with or as if with a laurel wreath for excellence or achievement

2 : to appoint to the office of poet laureate

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Other Words from laureate


laureate adjective
laureateship \ ˈlȯr-​ē-​ət-​ˌship , ˈlär-​ \ noun


laureation \ ˌlȯr-​ē-​ˈā-​shən , ˌlär-​ \ noun

Examples of laureate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The next day, the Aurora Prize laureate will be named., "Field is narrowed to three for the 3rd annual Aurora Prize," 15 May 2018 Liu Xia, the widow of China’s Nobel peace laureate, Liu Xiaobo, was freed from house arrest and allowed to fly to Germany. The Economist, "Politics this week," 12 July 2018 On May 31st, the Kavli Prize will add new laureates to the list. Scientific American, "Chasing the Biggest (and Smallest) Questions in the Universe," 11 May 2018 Former South African leader Nelson Mandela was named the inaugural honorary laureate in 2007. Carley Petesch, The Seattle Times, "Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf wins Africa leadership prize," 12 Feb. 2018 Most recently, Smokey was selected to be the post laureate for the City of Pasadena. Kirk Sides, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena names Charles "Smokey" Culver as Poet Laureate," 25 May 2018 Get our daily newsletter Lionel Martellini of EDHEC, a French business school, and Robert Merton of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (a Nobel laureate in economics) have come up with an alternative. The Economist, "Pension bonds are an ingenious idea for providing retirement income," 17 May 2018 Jeffrey Kahane, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra's music director for 20 years, now the ensemble's conductor laureate, was back — if only for a weekend. Richard S. Ginell,, "For Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the welcome return of some familiar faces," 19 Mar. 2018 If America had a prose laureate, Hall could have worn the crown with distinction. Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor, "Donald Hall: poet, farmer, indefatigable observer of life," 26 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Elections in 2015 elevated Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate whose name was once a byword for acts of conscience, and seemed to usher in a chance for democracy to take hold. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "Hands Tied by Old Hope, Diplomats in Myanmar Stay Silent," 12 Oct. 2017 Poets laureate have little interaction with the president and have rarely been drawn into political conflict. Washington Post, "Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith is new US poet laureate," 14 June 2017 Poets laureate have little interaction with the president and have rarely been drawn into political conflict. Hillel Italie, USA TODAY, "Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith is new U.S. poet laureate," 14 June 2017 Poets laureate have little interaction with the president and have rarely been drawn into political conflict. Hillel Italie, The Seattle Times, "Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy K. Smith is new US poet laureate," 13 June 2017 Curated by Icelandic composer and conductor Daniel Bjarnason and L.A. Phil conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen, the festival boasts 18 world premieres, three art installations and more than 24 hours of music. Jessica Gelt,, "Sigur Ros concert at Disney Hall to be livestreamed on Pitchfork and Facebook," 14 Apr. 2017 According to Von Holten, most applicants, including Rabas and McHenry, do not make poet laureate on their first attempt. Anne Kniggendorf,, "New Kansas poet laureate, a Shawnee Mission NW grad, was inspired by journalist mom," 17 May 2017 Peter Singer is professor of bioethics at Princeton University and laureate professor at the University of Melbourne. Peter Singer, The Denver Post, "The first victims of Donald Trump’s presidency," 4 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'laureate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of laureate


circa 1529, in the meaning defined above


circa 1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for laureate


Middle English, crowned with laurel as a distinction, from Latin laureatus, from laurea laurel wreath, from feminine of laureus of laurel, from laurus


see laureate entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near laureate







laurel bay

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Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for laureate

The first known use of laureate was circa 1529

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English Language Learners Definition of laureate

: someone who has won an important prize or honor for achievement in an art or science

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by force of circumstances

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