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Jan 24, 2020
This week’s theme
Adjectives used postpositively

This week’s words
ad litem
errant
aforethought
immemorial
laureate

laureate
A Reading from Homer, 1885 (detail)
A poet crowned with a laurel wreath reads Homer to an audience
Art: Lawrence Alma-Tadema

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Words about books
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

laureate

PRONUNCIATION:
(LOR-ee-uht)

MEANING:
adjective: Having special distinction or recognition in a field.
noun: A person honored for achieving distinction in a field.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin laureatus (crowned with laurel), from laurea (crown of laurel), feminine of laureus (of laurel), from laurus (laurel). Earliest documented use: 1395.

NOTES:
In ancient Greece, a wreath or a crown of laurel sprigs was used to honor people. The word baccalaureate as a synonym for bachelor’s degree was formed from the alteration of Latin baccalarius to conform to bacca lauri (laurel berry).

USAGE:
“To foster financial education, the US President or the Secretary of the Treasury should appoint an investor laureate to serve the nation.”
Steven M. Sears; The Indomitable Investor; Wiley; 2012.
[May we suggest Bernie Madoff as our first investor laureate? -Ed.]

See more usage examples of laureate in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. -Edith Wharton, novelist (24 Jan 1861-1937)

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