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 affair led to the Castro regime’s break with leading intellectuals such as Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, a Peruvian. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "‘Absolute Control’: Cuba Steps Up Artistic Censorship," 25 Dec. 2018 That decision, and the support of prominent scientists, has stoked criticism from some medical-community experts who wonder why Nobel laureates would attach their names to a supplement without much human research behind it. Alexandra Sifferlin, Time, "Is an Anti-Aging Pill on the Horizon?," 15 Feb. 2018 Perhaps 150 of our Nobel laureates chose American universities for their research and emigrated. WSJ, "Rethinking the Best Universities in the World," 26 July 2018 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

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

Noun and Verb

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

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Dictionary Entries near laureate







laurel bay

Statistics for laureate

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on laureate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with laureate

Spanish Central: Translation of laureate

Nglish: Translation of laureate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of laureate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on laureate

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a person who helps groups work together

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