privy seal

noun

Definition of privy seal

  1. 1 :  a private seal: such as a :  a British royal seal used before 1885 to authorize use of the great seal (as on letters patent or pardons) or on documents not requiring the great seal (as discharges of debts) b :  a seal used in Scotland to authenticate royal grants of personal or assignable rights

  2. 2 :  a document bearing a privy seal; especially :  a warrant used by English monarchs in Stuart and earlier periods to exact a forced loan

  3. 3 usually capitalized P&S :  lord privy seal

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of privy seal

Middle English prive seal, from prive privy + seal — more at seal


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up privy seal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

capable of being understood in two ways

Get Word of the Day daily email!