letters patent

plural noun Law.
  1. a written or printed instrument issued by a sovereign power, conferring upon a patentee some right, as the exclusive right to land or the exclusive right to make, use, and sell an invention for a limited time.

Origin of letters patent

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for letters patent

Historical Examples of letters patent


British Dictionary definitions for letters patent

letters patent

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