—pl. 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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.