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. [Eng.]
(Lau"re*ate), n. One crowned with laurel; a poet laureate. "A learned laureate." Cleveland.
(Lau"re*ate) v. i. [imp. & p. p. Laureated ; p. pr. & vb. n. Laureating ] To honor with a
wreath of laurel, as formerly was done in bestowing a degree at the English universities.
(Lau"re*ate*ship), n. State, or office, of a laureate.
(Lau`re*a"tion) n. [Cf. F. lauréation.] The act of crowning with laurel; the act of conferring an
academic degree, or honorary title.
(Lau"rel) n. [OE. lorel, laurer, lorer, OF. lorier, laurier, F. laurier, (assumed) LL. Laurarius, fr.
1. (Bot.) An evergreen shrub, of the genus Laurus having aromatic leaves of a lanceolate shape, with
clusters of small, yellowish white flowers in their axils; called also sweet bay. The fruit is a purple
berry. It is found about the Mediterranean, and was early used by the ancient Greeks to crown the victor
in the games of Apollo. At a later period, academic honors were indicated by a crown of laurel, with the
fruit. The leaves and tree yield an aromatic oil, used to flavor the bay water of commerce.
The name is extended to other plants which in some respect resemble the true laurel. See Phrases,
2. A crown of laurel; hence, honor; distinction; fame; especially in the plural; as, to win laurels.
3. An English gold coin made in 1619, and so called because the king's head on it was crowned with
Laurel water, water distilled from the fresh leaves of the cherry laurel, and containing prussic acid and
other products carried over in the process.
American laurel, or Mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia. See under Mountain. California laurel,
Umbellularia Californica. Cherry laurel See under Cherry. Great laurel, the rosebay Ground
laurel, trailing arbutus. New Zealand laurel, Laurelia Novæ Zelandiæ. Portugal laurel, the Prunus
Lusitanica. Rose laurel, the oleander. See Oleander. Sheep laurel, a poisonous shrub, Kalmia
angustifolia, smaller than the mountain laurel, and with smaller and redder flowers. Spurge laurel,
Daphne Laureola. West Indian laurel, Prunus occidentalis.