public school

public school


: a school that gets money from and is controlled by a local government

: a private school that prepares students for college or for public service

Full Definition of PUBLIC SCHOOL

:  an endowed secondary boarding school in Great Britain offering a classical curriculum and preparation for the universities or public service
:  a free tax-supported school controlled by a local governmental authority


  1. Both of their sons attend public school.

First Known Use of PUBLIC SCHOOL


public school

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In the United Kingdom, any of a small group of tuition-charging secondary schools that specialize in preparing students for university and for public service. The name public school dates from the 18th century, when the schools began attracting students from beyond their immediate environs and thus became “public” as opposed to local. Such schools are thus in fact private schools independent of the state system. Although many schools have become coeducational, only boys attend the historically important schools Winchester (1394), Eton (1440–41), Westminster (1560), and Harrow (1571); well-known girls' schools include Cheltenham (1853), Roedean (1885), and Wycomb Abbey (1896). Public schools cultivated a class-conscious code of behaviour, speech, and appearance that set the standard for British officialdom from the early 19th century. See also secondary education.


public school or independent school


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