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privy council

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noun
  1. a board or select body of personal advisers, as of a sovereign.
  2. (initial capital letters) (in Great Britain) a body of persons who advise the sovereign in matters of state, the majority of members being selected by the prime minister.
  3. (sometimes initial capital letters) any similar body, as one appointed to assist the governor of a British dominion.
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Origin of privy council

1250–1300; Middle English prive counseil privy counsel
Related formsprivy councilor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for privy council

Historical Examples

  • His actions are his privy-council, wherein no man must partake beside.

    Microcosmography

    John Earle

  • The affair was referred to the lords of the privy-council of England.

  • For preaching this sermon, Black was summoned by the privy-council.

  • These are extracts from the proceedings of the privy-council.

  • And has not their Privy-council as great, or a greater share in the administration of public affairs?

    Ireland in the Days of Dean Swift

    Jonathan Swift and J. Bowles (John Bowles) Daly


British Dictionary definitions for privy council

privy council

noun
  1. the council of state of a monarch or noble, esp formerly
  2. (in Canada) a ceremonial body of advisers of the governor general, the chief of them being the Federal cabinet ministers
  3. archaic a private or secret council
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Privy Council

noun
  1. the private council of the British sovereign, consisting of all current and former ministers of the Crown and other distinguished subjects, all of whom are appointed for lifeSee also Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
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Derived FormsPrivy Counsellor, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012