sig·​net | \ ˈsig-nət How to pronounce signet (audio) \

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)


signeted; signeting; signets

Definition of signet (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to stamp or authenticate with a signet

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 But among those lavish furnishings and her high-end creations — signet rings set with diamonds and lapis; gold lockets embellished with pearls — sits something decidedly less refined: a cluster of tiny plastic bags lined with Bubble Wrap. New York Times, 14 Apr. 2022 The collaboration between Mejuri and Lyons – who also stars in the campaign – features two new takes on the signet pinky ring, which are handcrafted in engravable 14k solid gold and 18k gold vermeil with a beveled edge onyx stone. Brittany Talarico,, 18 Feb. 2022 For Lyons, 53, designing the update on the classic signet style was all about creating a lasting legacy. Brittany Talarico,, 18 Feb. 2022 There are signet rings, statement earrings, and double-sided rings that flip to reveal a new look. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 30 Nov. 2021 Shields’s brunette hair falls around her shoulders in casual waves while layers of necklaces and rings as eclectic as her career complete the look — a chunky gold smiley face signet on her hand, a delicate key dangling from her neck. Washington Post, 5 Nov. 2021 Think lost wax casting on medallion pendants and signet rings, mythological Greek goddesses portrayed on necklaces, and celestial constellations rendered on charms and stud earrings. Laura Lajiness, Vogue, 23 Oct. 2021 The most recent from the brand includes their take on classic signet rings, one iteration in a square silhouette and the other in a classic circle. Rachel Besser, Vogue, 24 Aug. 2021 Designs range from necklaces with large initial pendants or dog tags to signet rings and bracelets with nameplates in handwriting script. Ashley Hughes, Chron, 30 June 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of signet


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for signet


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

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Time Traveler for signet

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

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Dictionary Entries Near signet

signed number


signet ring

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Statistics for signet

Last Updated

23 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Signet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on signet

Nglish: Translation of signet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of signet for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about signet


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