Definition of poet laureate in English:

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poet laureate

Pronunciation: /ˌpōət ˈlôrēət/

noun (plural poets laureate)

1An eminent poet traditionally appointed for life as a member of the British royal household.
Example sentences
  • As well as the Thatchers, the village was also once home to Sir John Betjeman, the former Poet Laureate and was the birthplace of Thomas Hughes, the author of Tom Brown's School Days.
  • During the 1920s John Masefield, the future Poet Laureate, published two novels set in the imaginary Latin American republic of Santa Barbara, Sard Harker and ODTAA.
  • Hopefully it will receive more respect than the last addition to the Square, which was the seat carved from a tree trunk and ‘blessed’ by the Poet Laureate, Seamus Heaney.
1.1A poet appointed to, or regarded unofficially as holding, an honorary representative position in a particular country, region, or group: the poet laureate of young America
More example sentences
  • ‘You do have long thoughts,’ says Glasgow's poet laureate, regarded as one of the most important Scottish poets of his generation.
  • She says she plans to sit down with members of the literary community to discuss how to use the position of poet laureate to promote poetry in Edmonton.
  • His proclamation marked a radical departure from earlier forms and secured his position as the poet laureate of American romanticism.

In 1999, Andrew Motion was appointed poet laureate of Great Britain for a term of ten years, the first time in British history that the honor was not granted as a lifetime position. In the US, an unofficial poet laureateship has existed since 1937, although the position was not compensated until 1985, when the honorific title “Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress” was changed to “Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.” The first official American poet laureate was Robert Penn Warren, and since then the post has been filled by such well-known poets as Richard Wilbur, Howard Nemerov, Mark Strand, Robert Hass, and Robert Pinsky. The appointment is for one year only, with the possibility of renewal, and although the official duties are limited to one poetry reading and one public lecture, the poet laureate usually takes it upon himself or herself to promote poetry and to encourage its reading and appreciation.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: po·et lau·re·ate

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