Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

publican

play
noun pub·li·can \ˈpə-bli-kən\

Simple Definition of publican

  • : someone who owns or manages a pub

Full Definition of publican

  1. 1 a :  a Jewish tax collector for the ancient Romans b :  a collector of taxes or tribute

  2. 2 chiefly British :  the licensee of a public house

Origin of publican

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin publicanus tax farmer, from publicum public revenue, from neuter of publicus


First Known Use: 13th century


Learn More about publican


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up publican? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet spindrift kittly-benders pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ