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 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, "Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Might Reject a Royal Title for Their Baby," 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, "Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Just Arrived at Buckingham Palace Wearing a Green Look," 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, "Princess Charlotte Facts You Need to Know Right Now," 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 8 Aug. 2020.

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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

Comments on letters patent

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