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

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 Although, now that signet rings are growing in popularity among women, there is no reason why these men’s engagement rings couldn’t also be worn by a woman, possibly as a cocktail ring. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 3 May 2021 Apart from the engraved signet rings and pendants the V. Bellan line features, there is a language to their crafted pieces like those in the Bar collection. Cassell Ferere, Forbes, 6 May 2021 The bands, in either titanium or platinum, are designed in the signet-ring style, but incorporate a large diamond instead of insignia or hardstone as the central feature. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 3 May 2021 The strong style evokes classic signet rings, also known as gentleman’s rings, which were historically engraved with a family crest or monogram. Jill Newman, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2021 The new trend began with relatively tame signet rings, then graduated to something in the neighborhood of a high school class ring. Los Angeles Times, 15 Jan. 2021 My signet rings that my mom and dad got me for my 21st birthday are also some of my favorites. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, 15 Jan. 2021 Right now, thousands of retailers are majorly marking down their items for the biggest sale day of the year — many of which offer deals on jewelry, from chain necklaces and signet rings to colorful baubles. Eliza Huber,, 27 Nov. 2020 Ahsoka slowly walks to her and throws down Mando’s signet and demands to know where the Magistrate’s master is. Lauren Morgan,, 27 Nov. 2020

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


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about signet

Time Traveler for signet

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for signet

Last Updated

29 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Signet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

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

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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