Share this entry

Share this page

letters patent

Syllabification: let·ters pat·ent
Pronunciation: /ˌledərz ˈpatnt
 
/

Definition of letters patent in English:

plural noun

An open document issued by a monarch or government conferring a patent or other right.
Example sentences
  • Such concessions could take the form of specific monopolies over trade in specific items (such as dice or playing cards) by petitioning the monarch and having letters patent from that monarch issued in your name.
  • Its clauses and terms peppered the letters patent with which English monarchs empowered their colonial agents.
  • The great seal is used for proclamations, writs, letters patent, and treaties.

Origin

late Middle English: from medieval Latin litterae patentes, literally 'letters lying open'.

Definition of letters patent in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day jaunt
Pronunciation: jônt
noun
a short excursion or journey for pleasure