letters patent

plural noun

Definition of letters patent

: a writing (as from a sovereign) that confers on a designated person a grant in a form open for public inspection

Examples of letters patent in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When the title was granted to Philip, a letters patent was issued by the king, stating that the title would one day be inherited by the duke’s eldest son, Prince Charles — also next in line to the British throne. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2021 Inside that leather tube were letters patent—the official documents, issued by the monarch, granting her father his title as Viscount Long. Helen Lewis, The Atlantic, 14 Nov. 2020 According to King George V’s 1917 letters patent, the oldest son of the Prince of Wales’s oldest son (so Prince George) is entitled to be styled His Royal Highness and a prince. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 18 Apr. 2019 While Charles received the title in 1968 via letters patent, his formal investiture would not take place until the follow year. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 5 Mar. 2019 However, Queen issued a special letters patent to include daughters of the Prince of Wales's eldest son ahead of her birth. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, 24 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'letters patent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of letters patent

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for letters patent

Time Traveler

The first known use of letters patent was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Letters patent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/letters%20patent. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for letters patent

letters patent

Legal Definition of letters patent

— see letter sense 2

More from Merriam-Webster on letters patent

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about letters patent


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