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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Signet \Sig"net\, n. [OF. signet a signet, F., a bookmark, dim. of signe. See Sign, n., and cf. Sennet.] A seal; especially, in England, the seal used by the sovereign in sealing private letters and grants that pass by bill under the sign manual; -- called also privy signet. [1913 Webster] I had my father's signet in my purse. --Shak. [1913 Webster] Signet ring, a ring containing a signet or private seal. Writer to the signet (Scots Law), a judicial officer who prepares warrants, writs, etc.; originally, a clerk in the office of the secretary of state. [1913 Webster]