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

Selected by Rita Dove Image Rita Dove is a Pulitzer Prize winner and a former United States poet laureate. Laura Read, New York Times, "Poem: PENTECOST," 5 July 2018 Smith, who currently serves as the U.S. poet laureate, is the author of three previous collections and one memoir. New York Times, "New Sentences: From Tracy K. Smith’s ‘Wade in the Water’," 25 Apr. 2018 Vote Lizzo as power poet laureate for working hard and taking no prisoners in 2019. Teen Vogue Staff, Teen Vogue, "15 Relatable Lyrics From Lizzo's Album "Cuz I Love You"," 19 Apr. 2019 Though little-known outside of his country, Leopoldo Panero was regarded by some during the Francisco Franco years as Spain’s poet laureate. Caroline Moorehead, WSJ, "‘The Age of Disenchantments’ Review: Walking the Spanish High Wire," 22 Mar. 2019 Four former West Hartford poet laureates will also lead book discussions. Michael Walsh, Courant Community, "Billy Collins The Focus Of This Year's West Hartford READS Initiative," 21 June 2018 Perhaps the best example of this pattern is Locke’s courtship of Langston Hughes, the poet laureate of the Harlem Renaissance, with whom Locke fell in love. Michael P. Jeffries, New York Times, "The Philosopher Who Believed That Art Was Key to Black Liberation," 22 Feb. 2018 The author, a Pulitzer Prize winner and former poet laureate, assesses contemporary poetry in this brief volume, with an eye to broader questions of American identity. Joumana Khatib, New York Times, "New in Paperback: ‘Augustown,’ ‘The Storied City’," 18 May 2018 The book and his readings resulted in a five-year appointment in 1984 as New Hampshire’s poet laureate. Wesley Mcnair, BostonGlobe.com, "A life of love, poetry — and the Red Sox," 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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20 Jun 2019

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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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