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privy council

a board or select body of personal advisers, as of a sovereign.
(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.
(sometimes initial capital letters) any similar body, as one appointed to assist the governor of a British dominion.
Origin of privy council
1250-1300; Middle English prive counseil privy counsel
Related forms
privy councilor, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for privy council
Historical Examples
  • After the privy council outrage there was very little for Franklin to do.

    Benjamin Franklin Paul Elmer More
  • A reward for your apprehension was actually deliberated at the privy council.

    The O'Donoghue Charles James Lever
  • Whereupon Clifton threatened to complain to the privy council.

    Shakespearean Playhouses

    Joseph Quincy Adams
  • This correspondence is found among the "Proceedings of the privy council."

    Henry of Monmouth, Volume 2 J. Endell Tyler
  • The power of the privy council over legislation was abolished.

    Historical and Political Essays

    William Edward Hartpole Lecky
  • And the heads of the privy council bowed as one in approval.

    The World Peril of 1910 George Griffith
  • After which, at a quarter to four o'clock, the privy council adjourned.

    Coronation Anecdotes Giles Gossip
  • Perhaps he felt that he was wrong, or perhaps his answers were all framed for him by his privy council.

    Charles I Jacob Abbott
  • Probably the privy council thought it futile to attack the "Puppets."

    Shakespeare's Family Mrs. C. C. Stopes
  • Appeal from the Blackfriars players (16 in number) to the privy council for favour.

British Dictionary definitions for privy council

privy council

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

Privy Council

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 life See also Judicial Committee of the Privy Council
Derived Forms
Privy 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
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