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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Statistics from Stuyvesant High School, which touts four Nobel Prize laureates among its alumni, were of particular interest to those critical of the new admissions figures. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Critics React to the Lack of Black and Latinx Diversity at New York City's Specialized Schools," 19 Mar. 2019 The role is open to interpretation — working under the auspices of the Library of Congress, a nonpartisan institution, each laureate is given a stipend of $35,000 and support to pursue a project of his or her choosing. Ruth Franklin, New York Times, "Tracy K. Smith, America’s Poet Laureate, Is a Woman With a Mission," 10 Apr. 2018 The Nobel Women’s Initiative, established in 2006, is a platform of six female Nobel Peace laureates. Washington Post, "Rohingya see no end in sight, 6 months after attacks began," 25 Feb. 2018 Tawakkol Karman, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate for 2011, speak to the media about the disappearance of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul on Oct. 8. David Gauthier-villars, WSJ, "President Trump on Missing Saudi Journalist: ‘I Do Not Like It’," 8 Oct. 2018 The attack angered Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, the young Nobel laureate and champion of girls’ education worldwide, who demanded the schools be promptly rebuilt. Munir Ahmed, The Seattle Times, "Group says millions of Pakistani girls deprived of education," 13 Nov. 2018 However, this posthumous prohibition has been overlooked several times in the past—for deceased male laureates. Brian Keating, WIRED, "There's Nothing Noble about Science’s Nobel Prize Gender Gap," 27 May 2018 At this Monday's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, the cameras briefly took their focus off of the year's two laureates, Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, to document another guest of note: international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Watch Amal Clooney Explain the Importance of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad's Work," 11 Dec. 2018 In that final trip to Houston in October 1967, King — by then a Nobel Prize laureate — had shifted his message to criticism of the Vietnam War and poverty. Cindy George, Houston Chronicle, "Martin Luther King Jr.’s death left Houston shocked but resolved for change," 4 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about laureate

Dictionary Entries near laureate







laurel bay

Statistics for laureate

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for laureate

The first known use of laureate was in 1508

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for laureate



English Language Learners Definition of laureate

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up laureate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or proceed with twists and turns

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!