privy seal


Definition of privy seal

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

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

History and Etymology for privy seal

Middle English prive seal, from prive privy + seal

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About privy seal

Dictionary Entries Near privy seal

privy purse

privy seal

privy to

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for privy seal

Cite this Entry

“Privy seal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!