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[sig-nit] /ˈsɪg nɪt/
a small seal, as on a finger ring.
a small official seal for legal documents, contracts, etc.
an impression made by or as if by a signet.
verb (used with object)
to stamp or mark with a signet.
Origin of signet
1300-50; Middle English < Old French (see sign, -et); compare Medieval Latin signētum
Related forms
unsigneted, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for signet
Historical Examples
  • The whole code of her laws may be written on the thumbnail, or the signet of a ring.

    Essays, Second Series Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Discern, I pray thee, whose are these, the signet and bracelets and staff?

    Fair to Look Upon

    Mary Belle Freeley
  • Given under our signet in our town of Pontoise, the 17th day of August.

    Henry of Monmouth, Volume 2 J. Endell Tyler
  • Given under our signet, at our said Castle of Touque, the 9th day of August.

    Henry of Monmouth, Volume 2 J. Endell Tyler
  • I alone have the signet which can force these mystic gates to open.

    The Infernal Marriage Benjamin Disraeli
  • Hath not Azrael (the Angel of Death) stamped her with his signet?

    Earl Hubert's Daughter Emily Sarah Holt
  • I have pressed his hand on his death-bed; and he has given me his signet ring.

    Major Frank A. L. G. Bosboom-Toussaint
  • But Charmion frowned, and drawing the signet from her bosom held it before their eyes.

    Cleopatra H. Rider Haggard
  • Titus has given me a signet ring which will, at all times, procure me access to him.

    For the Temple G. A. Henty
  • "I have the king's signet," he said, holding forth the ring.

    Windsor Castle William Harrison Ainsworth
British Dictionary definitions for signet


a small seal, esp one as part of a finger ring
a seal used to stamp or authenticate documents
the impression made by such a seal
(transitive) to stamp or authenticate with a signet
Word Origin
C14: from Medieval Latin signētum a little seal, from Latin signum a sign
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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Word Origin and History for signet

late 14c., "small seal" (especially one on a finger ring), from Old French signet "a small seal," diminutive of signe "sign" (see sign (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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