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Laureate

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Laureate

Crowned, or decked, with laurel. To strew the laureate hearse where Lycid lies. (Milton) Soft on her lap her laureate son reclines. (Pope) Poet laureate. One who received an honorable degree in grammar, including poetry and rhetoric, at the english universities; so called as being presented with a wreath of laurel. Formerly, an officer of the kings household, whose business was to compose an ode annually for the kings birthday, and other suitable occasions; now, a poet officially distinguished by such honorary title, the office being a sinecure. It is said this title was first given in the time of Edward iv.

Origin: L. Laureatus, fr. Laurea laurel tree, fr. Laureus of laurel, fr. Laurus laurel: cf. F. Laureat. Cf. Laurel.