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

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 This year's laureate will be announced in 2019, the academy said. Judith Vonberg, CNN, "Nobel Prize for Literature postponed after sexual misconduct scandal," 4 May 2018 That's not to say its recent laureates are undeserving — OK, maybe not Elfriede Jelinek or (forgive me) Bob Dylan — but then, this raises the question of what deserving means. David L. Ulin,, "There will be no Nobel Prize in literature this year. And that's a shame.," 11 May 2018 Former South African President Nelson Mandela is among its laureates. Bethlehem Feleke, CNN, "Liberian ex-President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf dedicates $5M prize to women's empowerment," 28 Apr. 2018 The flagrant unlikelihood of anyone in today’s White House ingesting a book of poems, much less consulting Tracy K. Smith, our current laureate, on any matter, is apparent. Dwight Garner, New York Times, "Scorching, Sophisticated New Work From Two of America’s Leading Poets," 16 Apr. 2018 As an essayist and public intellectual, Marilynne Robinson is our contrarian laureate. Richard Higgins,, "Our contrarian laureate," 9 Mar. 2018 In 1986, Leonard Bernstein led his last tour with the New York Philharmonic as its laureate conductor, an honorific richly deserved by one of America’s most revered musicians. Howard Reich,, "CSO at Ravinia review: Marin Alsop poetically launches Bernstein tribute," 13 July 2018 The nine-day San Fermin fiesta was popularized by Nobel Literature laureate Ernest Hemingway. Fox News, "One gored, 3 trampled in Spain's running of the bulls festival," 7 July 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

5 Oct 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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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).


evasion of direct action or statement

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