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lau·​re·​ate ˈlȯr-ē-ət How to pronounce laureate (audio)
: the recipient of honor or recognition for achievement in an art or science
a Nobel laureate
specifically : poet laureate
laureateship noun


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lau·​re·​ate ˈlȯr-ē-ˌāt How to pronounce laureate (audio)
laureated; laureating

transitive verb

: to crown with or as if with a laurel wreath for excellence or achievement
: to appoint to the office of poet laureate
laureation noun


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lau·​re·​ate ˈlȯr-ē-ət How to pronounce laureate (audio)
: honored for outstanding achievement in an art or science
This was a term coined in the 1950s by Nobel laureate chemist Irving Langmuir …Gary Taubes
see also poet laureate
: crowned with laurel
Minted in France in 1807, the front of the medal shows the laureate head of Emperor Napoleon and, on the reverse, an eagle clutching a thunderbolt, part of the emperor's imperial seal.Brice Stump

Examples of laureate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
That’s finally changing, with the market’s gains outpacing the ravages of inflation sufficiently to push real stock valuations close to a new peak, according to calculations by Robert J. Shiller, the Yale professor and Nobel laureate in economics. Jeff Sommer, New York Times, 5 Apr. 2024 Conlon will have led L.A. Opera for 20 years by the time of his exit, and will be named conductor laureate in recognition of his many contributions to the company. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, 13 Mar. 2024 Today, Rolex announces the five laureates have been named to receive awards for the year 2023. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 20 Feb. 2024 Michael Tilson Thomas, music director laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, has been battling cancer for more than two years, but his musical passions remain undimmed. Randy McMullen, The Mercury News, 24 Jan. 2024 Another Nobel laureate, Richard Thaler, says Kahneman and Tversky broadened our understanding by asking a different question than most economists, who were steeped in mathematics, not psychology. Scott Horsley, NPR, 27 Mar. 2024 Attempts to find work elsewhere were blocked at every turn, despite support from multiple Nobel laureates, Groves and even H-bomb enthusiast Edward Teller. Kc Cole, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 Mar. 2024 When another charismatic Russian opposition figure, Boris Nemtsov, was shot dead on a bridge near the Kremlin in 2015, his body was laid in an open coffin in the Sakharov Center — named after the late Soviet-era dissident and Nobel peace laureate, Andrei Sakharov — where supporters paid tribute. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2024 Myanmar’s democratic transition under Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi further curtailed the region’s role in drugs, with U.N.-backed crop substitution programs transforming crimson poppy fields into fruit orchards and tea plantations. TIME, 21 Mar. 2024
Meitner was a giant in her own right, a contemporary of Nobel laureates like Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr and Max Planck. Katrina Miller, New York Times, 2 Oct. 2023 The Doomsday Clock is set each year by the 22 members of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 11 Nobel laureates. Doyle Rice, The Courier-Journal, 23 Jan. 2024 This year saw the first-ever approval of a medicine based on the gene editing technology, barely more than a decade after publication of its first demonstration by Nobel laureates Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier. Megan Molteni, STAT, 26 Dec. 2023 Each year, the Nobel Committee for chemistry studies the nominations and proposes the recipients of the Nobel Prize in chemistry to its parent organization, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which ultimately selects the Nobel laureates in chemistry (and physics). Jeffrey I. Seeman, The Conversation, 28 Sep. 2023 Beyond the impact of his own research, Professor Solow helped launch the careers of a stunning number of future superstar economists, including four Nobel laureates: Peter Diamond, Joseph E. Stiglitz, William D. Nordhaus and George A. Akerlof. Michael M. Weinstein, New York Times, 22 Dec. 2023 In 2021, dozens of scientists — including two Nobel laureates — petitioned the state governor to request that Folbigg be pardoned and released. Rachel Pannett, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2023 Advertisement Courses include an introduction to graduate humanities and graduate writing, the study of modern Nobel laureates and the history of American punishment and incarceration. Hannah Wiley, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2023 Fittingly, the announcement marked a small step toward closing a gender gap among Nobel laureates in economics: Out of 93 economics winners, Ms. Goldin is just the third woman to be awarded the prize and the first woman to be the sole winner in any year. Paul Wiseman, David Keyton, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'laureate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use


circa 1529, in the meaning defined above


circa 1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1508, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of laureate was in 1508

Dictionary Entries Near laureate

Cite this Entry

“Laureate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a person honored for achievement in an art or science
especially : poet laureate
laureate adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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