Definition of the Privy Council noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the Privy Council

BrE BrE//ðə ˌprɪvi ˈkaʊnsl//
; NAmE NAmE//ðə ˌprɪvi ˈkaʊnsl//
[singular + singular or plural verb]
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(in Britain) a group of people who advise the king or queen on political affairs Culture The Privy Council is made up of politicians and other important people in the legal profession, the Church and the Commonwealth, and its head is the Lord President of the Council. At present it has over 400 members, who are given the position for life. The Privy Council first became powerful in the 14th century, but was replaced in 1688 by the Cabinet. It now has few functions in government, and is mainly important as a personal honour for its members.