lau·​re·​ate | \ ˈlȯr-ē-ət How to pronounce laureate (audio) , ˈlär- \

Definition of laureate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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 How to pronounce laureate (audio) , ˈlär- \
laureated; laureating

Definition of laureate (Entry 2 of 3)

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


lau·​re·​ate | \ ˈlȯr-ē-ət How to pronounce laureate (audio) , ˈlär- \

Definition of laureate (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : 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
2 : 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

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Other Words from laureate


laureateship \ ˈlȯr-​ē-​ət-​ˌship How to pronounce laureateship (audio) , ˈlär-​ \ noun


laureation \ ˌlȯr-​ē-​ˈā-​shən How to pronounce laureation (audio) , ˌlär-​ \ noun

Examples of laureate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Miguel Harth-Bedoya, who has led the orchestra for 20 years, is stepping down at the end of this season with the title of music director laureate. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Fort Worth Symphony announces 2020-21 season," 29 Jan. 2020 Whether or not the clock's minute hand moves every year is decided by the organization's Science and Security Board alongside its Board of Sponsors — comprised of more than a dozen Nobel laureates, according to the organization. Audrey Mcnamara, CBS News, "Doomsday Clock is now 100 seconds to midnight, the closest since the Cold War," 23 Jan. 2020 Castillo is executive director of the PEACE Initiative and one of the city’s outgoing peace laureates, so her call to Cornyn was both personal and professional. Elaine Ayala,, "On the looming war against Iran, San Antonians worry about an illegal war," 7 Jan. 2020 Tokarczuk is the 15th woman to be awarded the Nobel for literature, out of 116 laureates., "Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian writer Peter Handke were awarded Nobel Prizes in literature on Thursday, the Swedish Academy announced at a ceremony in Stockholm.," 11 Oct. 2019 The royal ceremony and banquet followed the annual Polar Talks, featuring presentations and panel discussions, as well as onstage interviews with all of the laureates. Fred Bronson, Billboard, "Grandmaster Flash, Anne-Sophie Mutter & Playing for Change Founders Receive Polar Music Prize in Sweden," 11 June 2019 Slatkin ended a decade as music director in 2018 and is now the ensemble’s music director laureate. Washington Post, "Detroit orchestra names Jader Bignamini next music director," 22 Jan. 2020 The Nobel laureate died Aug. 5 after a brief illness. Paula Rogo, Essence, "These Books Topped Barack Obama's End-Of-Year Reading List," 29 Dec. 2019 The ceremony for the prize laureates in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature and Economics takes place each year in Stockholm, Sweden, while the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize is honored in Oslo, Norway. Editors, USA TODAY, "Impeachment articles coming, Trump's swing-state rally, Nobel Prize winners: 5 things to know Tuesday," 10 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Archie’s sole public showing was also a rare public appearance by ailing Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who greeted the baby with a gleeful smile and a gentle kiss on the forehead. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Prince Harry lashes out at UK press for treatment of Meghan," 2 Oct. 2019 In 1997, funeral services were held in Calcutta, India, for Nobel peace laureate Mother Teresa., "In 1860, General of the Armies of the United States John J. Pershing was born in Laclede, Mo.," 13 Sep. 2019 So too did Stravinsky in conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen’s vibrant survey, much of it of works from the composer’s L.A. years. Mark Swed,, "How the L.A. Phil centennial season delivered on the promise of unprecedented goods," 20 June 2019 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

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


1508, 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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Time Traveler for laureate

Time Traveler

The first known use of laureate was in 1508

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Statistics for laureate

Last Updated

9 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Laureate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for laureate


How to pronounce laureate (audio)

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

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