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 laureate (audio) , ˈlär-​ \ noun


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

Examples of laureate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun One prominent explorer of quantum cellular automata, Nobel laureate Gerard ‘t Hooft, flatly rules out the possibility of free will. John Horgan, Scientific American, "Quantum Mechanics, Free Will and the Game of Life," 14 Feb. 2021 Paul Romer, the Nobel laureate economist, told me to think about it this way: The coming months are a race between three variables. Star Tribune, "New virus strains make the next six weeks crucial," 29 Jan. 2021 From 2010 to 2019, on average, nearly three of the Renaudot jurors shared publishing ties with a laureate for the novel category — up from barely one between 2000 and 2009, according to an analysis by The New York Times. New York Times, "France’s Major Literary Juries Award Prizes in a Year of Scandal," 30 Nov. 2020 Sunday's election was viewed as a referendum on the fledgling democratic government led by Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy (NLD), which won a landslide in 2015. Reuters, CNN, "Aung San Suu Kyi's ruling party claims resounding election win in Myanmar," 9 Nov. 2020 King is perhaps America's interviewer laureate, having faced world leaders, Hollywood royalty and sports stars in his Q&A career. NBC News, "Larry King hospitalized with Covid-19," 4 Jan. 2021 Smith adapted to the overwhelming experience of being named a laureate. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith, who found life-saving ways to tweak genes, retires at 89," 19 Dec. 2020 In theory, yes, says Eugene Fama, a Nobel laureate economist at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Peter Coy,, "A Sign the ESG Movement Is Too Big to Ignore: There’s Backlash," 22 Dec. 2020 That might be some sort of modern valuation record, although any shortlist of the all-time greatest in American music has to include the Nobel laureate Bob Dylan, born 79 years ago in Duluth and raised in Hibbing. Star Tribune, "Schafer: What's behind the big decision Bob Dylan just made," 18 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The gala concert featured Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel and his predecessors, conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen and conductor emeritus Zubin Mehta. Matt Cooper, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. Phil’s 100th birthday bash: Your quarantine must-watch of the day," 8 May 2020 But the Nobel Peace Prize laureate soon disappointed her supporters abroad when her Administration, which still shares power with the military, defended the army’s brutal campaign against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Time, "1990: Aung San Suu Kyi," 5 Mar. 2020 The signing process was attended by 1996 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos Horta, the strongest current candidate to become prime minister. Washington Post, "East Timor’s premier offers resignation after budget fails," 25 Feb. 2020 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

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

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Laureate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

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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

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