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 During that same time, Tobkin Conley became friends with Ray Atkeson, Oregon’s photographer laureate at the time, who chronicled the state’s natural beauty for some 60 years. oregonlive, "Umatilla River flood victim left legacy of environmental activism; ‘Oregon was always in her heart’," 14 Feb. 2020 New Hampshire Concord: Amanda Whitworth has been named the state’s artist laureate. USA TODAY, "Jornada del Muerto, Livestrong rebrand, Mach 8 tunnel: News from around our 50 states," 12 Feb. 2020 The position of the clock’s hands is determined by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board, along with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel laureates. Time, "The End Is Nigh: Doomsday Clock Reaches 100 Seconds to Midnight," 23 Jan. 2020 The magnet school is one of America’s biggest feeders to Harvard; a list of alumni includes four Nobel laureates. The Economist, "The dignity of all the talents A battle over gifted education is brewing in America," 9 Jan. 2020 Music director laureate Edo de Waart returns to conduct Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 and Shostakovich's cello concerto, with Johannes Moser the soloist. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "20 enticing Milwaukee concerts and shows in early 2020," 2 Jan. 2020 Decision-making tends to rely on both the emotional and rational centers of our brains, what Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman calls System 1 and System 2 thinking. Karthik Kannan, The Conversation, "How can we make sure that algorithms are fair?," 16 Dec. 2019 Also receiving the award are Nobel laureate Akira Yoshino, director Nobuhiko Obayashi, manga artist Moto Hagio and kabuki actor Bando Tamasaburo, according to the Japan Times. Allen Kim, CNN, "'Mario Bros.' creator Shigeru Miyamoto to be given one of Japan's highest honors," 29 Oct. 2019 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 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

23 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Laureate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 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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