privy council


archaic : a secret or private council
capitalized P&C : a body of officials and dignitaries chosen by the British monarch as an advisory council to the Crown usually functioning through its committees
: a usually appointive advisory council to an executive
privy councillor noun

Examples of privy council in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Tethering its legal system to Britain, Jamaica’s highest court of appeal remains the privy council, based in London and staffed by judges from Britain’s Supreme Court. Simon Romero Alejandro Cegarra, New York Times, 11 Oct. 2023 Members of the privy council — a group of advisers to the crown including the London Lord Mayor, high ranking civil servants, politicians and members of Britain's House of Lords — are meeting in the State Apartments of St James's Palace to formally approve Charles as the U.K.'s new king. Matthew Mulligan, NBC News, 10 Sep. 2022 Listening to the privy council formally proclaim King Charles III the monarch was, to borrow a Britishism, absolutely bonkers. Clare Malone, The New Yorker, 13 Sep. 2022 Yet, breaking from tradition, not every member of the privy council has been invited to participate in the ceremony. Matthew Mulligan, NBC News, 10 Sep. 2022 The council is made up of the privy council, the sovereign’s official advisers, the lord mayor and high sheriffs of the City of London, high commissioners, some senior civil servants and certain others invited to attend. Joanna Sugden, WSJ, 9 Sep. 2022 The Cato Street conspirators faced public trial in April 1820 after an examination by the privy council. William Anthony Hay, WSJ, 17 June 2022 The decision to suspend Parliament will be confirmed by the privy council—a group of senior politicians who advise the monarch—at the Queen’s Balmoral residence in Scotland on Wednesday, the BBC reported. Robert Hutton, Fortune, 28 Aug. 2019 Henry’s privy council wanted to imprison and/or execute Charles Brandon for treason, but in the end the king realized that would probably make family reunions super awkward, so Brandon just had to pay a stiff fine. Anne Thériault, Longreads, 25 May 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'privy council.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of privy council was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near privy council

Cite this Entry

“Privy council.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

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