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.



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Origin of privy council

1250–1300; Middle English prive counseil privy counsel

OTHER WORDS FROM privy council

privy councilor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for privy council

British Dictionary definitions for privy council (1 of 2)

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

British Dictionary definitions for privy council (2 of 2)

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 lifeSee also Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

Derived forms of Privy Council

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