Definition of lettre de cachet in English:

lettre de cachet

Pronunciation /ˌlɛtr(ə) də ˈkaʃeɪ/


  • An official order for imprisonment, exile, or some other punishment; specifically (in pre-revolutionary France) a warrant issued for the imprisonment of a person without trial at the pleasure of the monarch.


Early 18th century; earliest use found in William Darrell (1651–1721), Jesuit. From French lettre de cachet from lettre + de + cachet.