Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Worthy of the greatest honor or distinction: "The nation's pediatrician laureate is preparing to lay down his black bag” ( James Traub).
  • adj. Crowned or decked with laurel as a mark of honor.
  • adj. Archaic Made of laurel sprigs, as a wreath or crown.
  • n. One honored or awarded a prize for great achievements especially in the arts or sciences: a Nobel laureate.
  • n. A poet laureate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Crowned, or decked, with laurel.
  • n. One crowned with laurel; a poet laureate
  • n. A graduate of a university
  • v. To honor with a wreath of laurel, as formerly was done in bestowing a degree at English universities.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Crowned, or decked, with laurel.
  • n. One crowned with laurel; a poet laureate.
  • n. A person who has been presented with an award for some distinguished achievement.
  • intransitive v. To honor with a wreath of laurel, as formerly was done in bestowing a degree at the English universities.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put a wreath of laurel upon the head of; crown with laurel, as formerly in conferring a degree in a university.
  • To invest with the office of poet laureate.
  • Crowned with laurel as a mark of distinction; decked with laurel.
  • In numismatical descriptions, wearing a laurel wreath: said of a human head, a bust, etc.: as, the head of the emperor Nero, laureate.—
  • n. One crowned with laurel; a poet laureate; an officially appointed or recognized poet.
  • n. In the musical conservatories of Paris and Brussels, a pupil who gains the Prix de Rome.
  • n. In some educational institutions in the United States, a degree given to women instead of ‘Bachelor’ and ‘Master’: as, Laureate of Science, etc.
  • n. In numismatics, same as laurel, 5.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. worthy of the greatest honor or distinction
  • n. someone honored for great achievements; figuratively someone crowned with a laurel wreath

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin laureātus, adorned with laurel, from laurea, crown of laurel, from feminine of laureus, of laurel, from laurus, laurel.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin laureatus, from laurea ("laurel tree"), from laureus ("of laurel"), from laurus ("laurel"). Compare French lauréat. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • First published in the West in 1973, "The Gulag Archipelago" prompted the Kremlin to expel the Nobel laureate from the Soviet Union and strip him of citizenship in 1974.

    'Gulag Archipelago' Re-Issued for Russian Students

  • The name of the laureate is engraved on the plate below the figures, and the text REG.

    The Nobel Prize Medal for Physics and Chemistry

  • Having a Nobel laureate is NO guarrantee of leadership, control or efficiency.

    Gration Plus 7 - NASA Watch

  • From this exalted perch, the poet laureate is charged with bringing poetry to the forefront of the American consciousness, as well as playing consultant to the Library of Congress — which includes giving a reading at the beginning of the term and a lecture or reading at end of term, organizing monthly readings and overseeing the Library's poetry fellowships and prizes.

    July 2008

  • The former Vice President and Nobel laureate is raising the bar with the goal of total carbon-free wind, solar and geothermal power by 2018.

    Ali Kriscenski | Inhabitat

  • Michael Rosen, the children's laureate, is of course somewhere out to the left of Ghengis Khan.

    Children's writers and their politics

  • The Romantic laureate is to be felt beyond the grave by the Victorians, and by their own poet, not in the wispy or whispering touch of his breathed words but in the abstract feelings generated from the written traces of their prophetic aura of aurality.

    Phonemanography: Romantic to Victorian

  • Marrying a Nobel laureate is the second best option, according to Borje Johansson, a member of the Nobel committee on physics.

    If You Want to Win a Nobel, Pick Your Parents Carefully | Impact Lab

  • Rigoberta Menchu the Guatemalan Nobel laureate is perhaps the most famous of these.

    Fear and freedom of the press

  • Professor Bethe, a Nobel laureate, is the most senior of the surviving members of the Manhattan Project. 6 On the occasion of the 50th

    Joseph Rotblat - Nobel Lecture

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  • Who is the noble prize laureates in economic this year?

    October 5, 2011