signet

noun
sig·​net | \ˈsig-nət \

Definition of signet 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a seal used officially to give personal authority to a document in lieu of signature

2 : the impression made by or as if by a signet

3 : a small intaglio seal (as in a finger ring)

signet

verb
signeted; signeting; signets

Definition of signet (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to stamp or authenticate with a signet

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Signets have been used for thousands of years. The design of a signet is personalized for its owner, and no two are alike. The ancients used signets to mark their possessions and to sign contracts. In later years signets were used to stamp a blob of hot wax sealing a folded secret document so that it couldn't be opened and read without the design being broken. The Pope still wears a signet, called the Fisherman's Ring, which is carved with a figure of St. Peter encircled with the Pope's name; after a Pope's death, the ring is destroyed and a new one is made.

Examples of signet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

David Yurman’s always been a fan of the pinkie ring and today the brand just added to their line with ceramic signet-style rings. Sarah Nechamkin, The Cut, "David Yurman Is Making Bright, Cheerful Pinkie Rings," 11 July 2018 At the opening night of the theater production Head Over Heels on Wednesday Paltrow was photographed wearing a signet-style ring that features Falchuck's initials. Alex Warner, Marie Claire, "Gwyneth Paltrow May Have Just Confirmed Her Secret Marriage to Brad Falchuck," 19 Apr. 2018 The brunette ex-assistant appears strikingly Kim-esque in front of the camera—confidently posing in statement hoop earrings, lariat necklaces and signet-style rings from the label's latest launch. Megan Decker, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian’s Ex-Assistant Just Landed A Major Modeling Gig," 16 Mar. 2018 Yurman's version is a little less pretentious than a signet crest, and instead pure couture carnival fun. Micaela English, Town & Country, "David Yurman Now Makes Jewelry That Smells Like Cotton Candy," 24 Aug. 2015 Up close, the polished wood betrays marks from Churchill’s nails and signet ring. Jackie Mansky, Smithsonian, "Go Behind the Glass of Churchill’s Underground War Rooms," 22 Aug. 2017 In 2012, he was diagnosed with a form of cancer called signet ring cell adenocarcinoma, which was based in his abdominal area. Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee police veteran dies after battle with rare cancer," 15 Aug. 2017 Inspired by the classic signet ring, this comes in sizes 9 and 11. Lindsay Peoples, The Cut, "Finally, Someone Understands That Jewelry Should Come in Extended Sizes Too," 10 July 2017 We’ve been very inspired by signets, mystic symbols, and ancient watermarks, but wanted to create our own unique set of imagery for the can. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "This Rosé in a Can Is the Only Summer Drink You’ll Need," 14 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of signet

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for signet

Noun

Middle English small seal, signet ring, from Anglo-French, diminutive of signe sign, seal

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about signet

Statistics for signet

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for signet

The first known use of signet was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on signet

Spanish Central: Translation of signet

Nglish: Translation of signet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of signet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about signet

Comments on signet

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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