poets laureate

poet laureate

noun, plural poets laureate.
1.
(in Great Britain) a poet appointed for life as an officer of the royal household, formerly expected to write poems in celebration of court and national events.
2.
a poet recognized or acclaimed as the most eminent or representative of a country or locality.
3.
(formerly) a poet whose efforts were officially recognized, as by a sovereign, university, etc.

Origin:
1350–1400; Middle English

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World English Dictionary
poet laureate
 
n , pl poets laureate
(Brit) the poet appointed as court poet of Britain who is given a post as an officer of the Royal Household. The first was Ben Jonson in 1616

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Cultural Dictionary

poet laureate definition


The national poet in Britain. Historically, the poet laureate's duty has been to compose official poetry for the king's or queen's birthday and for great public occasions, such as victories in war, coronations, and births and weddings in the royal family. The poets laureate of Britain have included Geoffrey Chaucer, William Wordsworth, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

Note: The largely ceremonial position of poet laureate was created in the United States in 1985.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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