poet laureate

plural poets laureate or poet laureates

Definition of poet laureate 

1 : a poet honored for achievement

2a : a poet appointed for life by an English sovereign as a member of the royal household and formerly expected to compose poems for court and national occasions

b : a poet appointed annually by the U.S. Library of Congress as a consultant and typically involved in the promotion of poetry

3 : one regarded by a country or region as its most eminent or representative poet

Examples of poet laureate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Galeano, often called the poet laureate of football, wrote Soccer in Sun and Shadow as both a fanboy and a social critic of the game. Lenora Todaro, The Atlantic, "A World Cup Without Eduardo Galeano, Soccer’s Poet Laureate," 15 June 2018 The state’s most recent poet laureate was Rennie McQuilkin. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Connecticut Taking Applications For Poet Laureate," 13 June 2018 The laureateship isn’t a political post, and the poet laureate is explicitly discouraged from commenting on policy. Ruth Franklin, New York Times, "Tracy K. Smith, America’s Poet Laureate, Is a Woman With a Mission," 10 Apr. 2018 The Connecticut Office of the Arts is accepting submissions for the position of Connecticut poet laureate. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Connecticut Taking Applications For Poet Laureate," 13 June 2018 The poet laureate serves a three-year term, beginning July 1, 2018. Peter Marteka, Courant Community, "Glastonbury Searching For A New Poet Laureate," 4 Apr. 2018 Illness has compelled McQuilkin to step down as poet laureate after serving three years of a five-year term. Susan Dunne, courant.com, "Outgoing Poet Laureate Rennie McQuilkin Confronts Illness As Just Another Journey," 21 June 2018 Poem Jam: The monthly poetry reading series will be moderated by San Francisco poet laureate Kim Shuck. Brandon Yu, SFChronicle.com, "In Moshfegh’s latest, sleep is a refuge from existential angst," 10 July 2018 Image Donald Hall, a former poet laureate of the United States who found a universe of meaning in the apples, ox carts and ordinary folk of his beloved rural New England, died on Saturday at his home in Wilmot, N.H. David Kirby, New York Times, "Donald Hall, a Poet Laureate of the Rural Life, Is Dead at 89," 24 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'poet 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 poet laureate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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24 Oct 2018

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The first known use of poet laureate was in the 15th century

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poet laureate


English Language Learners Definition of poet laureate

: a poet who is honored by being chosen for an official position by a ruler or government

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