One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in the UK) a seal affixed to documents that are afterward to pass the Great Seal or that do not require it.
- ‘Next are the chaplains and clerks, clerks of the privy council, of the privy seal and the signet.’
- ‘As first the great seal and then the privy seal were regarded by monarchs as too public, the keeper of the signet rose in importance.’
- ‘The next few years saw his titles change rapidly, from principal secretary and master of the rolls to lord privy seal, where he also gained a peerage.’
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