public

adjective
pub·​lic | \ ˈpə-blik How to pronounce public (audio) \

Definition of public

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : exposed to general view : open
2a : of, relating to, or affecting all the people or the whole area of a nation or state public law
b : of or relating to a government
c : of, relating to, or being in the service of the community or nation
3a : of or relating to people in general : universal
4 : of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs : social
5 : devoted to the general or national welfare : humanitarian
6a : accessible to or shared by all members of the community
b : capitalized in shares that can be freely traded on the open market often used with go
7 : supported by public funds and private contributions rather than by income from commercials public radio public television

public

noun

Definition of public (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place accessible or visible to the public usually used in the phrase in public
2 : the people as a whole : populace
3 : a group of people having common interests or characteristics specifically : the group at which a particular activity or enterprise aims

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Other Words from public

Adjective

publicness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for public

Synonyms: Adjective

open

Synonyms: Noun

folks, humanity, humankind, people, species, world

Antonyms: Adjective

confidential, private, privy, secret

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Examples of public in a Sentence

Adjective

Public outrage over the scandal eventually forced him to resign. The ads are intended to increase public awareness of the risks of smoking. She was elected to a public office. He was in Congress for many years but he recently retired from public life. They decided on a nearby restaurant as a convenient public place to meet. The government has allowed public access to the documents. The city council is holding a public meeting. This will be her first public performance in five years. Her trial will be public.

Noun

The beach is open to the public. The general public is in favor of the law. Members of the public called for the mayor's resignation.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While Big Hit is yet to make any public statement directly about BTS’s current schedule, fans are already connecting the dots. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "BTS Has Returned From Their Extended Break, Reportedly to Film a Reality Show," 16 Sep. 2019 An off-duty deputy witnessed the crash late Friday night and stopped to help the driver, according to Veda Coleman-Wright, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office. Marcia Heroux Pounds, sun-sentinel.com, "Broward deputy responding to crash hits off-duty deputy, driver," 15 Sep. 2019 Stier did not go public with the allegation during the confirmation but reported it to the FBI and senators. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Mitch McConnell renews support for Brett Kavanaugh after New York Times report," 15 Sep. 2019 All information about the case is wiped from public records and can only be used for investigative or criminal justice purposes. Ashley Remkus | Aremkus@al.com, al, "Those wrongly accused of violent crimes in Alabama remain haunted by dropped charges," 13 Sep. 2019 Without much fanfare, Virgin Galactic has gone public on the New York Stock Exchange as a subsidiary of SCHH, a special purpose acquisition company run by former Facebook employees. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Richard Branson's Plans for Space Tourism Sure Are Aggressive," 11 Sep. 2019 Jonathan Light, public information officer for the Sheriff’s Office. Mary Grace Keller, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Trash collecting among most dangerous civilian jobs, data shows; police still investigating death in Mount Airy," 10 Sep. 2019 Developers built them in white suburbs, far removed from cities and public transportation routes, fashioning castles of commerce for the white middle class. Johnny Joo, Smithsonian, "The Rise of the Zombie Mall," 18 Sep. 2019 Al-Maliki did not elaborate further and said the results of the investigation would be made public to the media when complete. Washington Post, "The Latest: Saudis to invite global experts to investigate," 18 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Most notably there was the practice of separating parents from their children at the border, which the public may be surprised to understand is still ongoing. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "An Immigration Attorney at the A.C.L.U. on Fighting Trump’s Asylum Ban," 17 Sep. 2019 This week, when researchers explore the Portland and other shipwrecks in the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the public will be able to follow along and see the wrecks up close through live online broadcasts on Sept. 17, 18, and 19. BostonGlobe.com, "It was the New England’s greatest steamship disaster at the time, and later became known as the “Titanic of New England.”," 17 Sep. 2019 Then-Lakers rookie D’Angelo Russell surreptitiously filmed his teammate Nick Young admitting to an affair, and that video was somehow leaked to the public after Russell shared it with some people on Snapchat. Rohan Nadkarni, SI.com, "The Most Notable NBA Feuds This Past Decade," 17 Sep. 2019 The public has never been more ready to end the era of endless wars. Jefferson Morley, The New Republic, "Democrats Are Trapped in Trump’s “Deep State” War," 16 Sep. 2019 An exhibit of the New Braunfels objects will be open to the public from Oct. 9 through Oct. 30. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "Anthony Bourdain’s estate getting auctioned; preview in New Braunfels," 16 Sep. 2019 The public is only privy to the details of inspections disclosed in public board actions likes fines or other sanctions for violations. oregonlive, "State inspections of funeral homes fall short in Oregon," 15 Sep. 2019 Opinion polls have shown Lieberman gaining popularity with the broader public after his refusal to back Netanyahu. Washington Post, "Fighting for survival: Keys to Netanyahu’s return to power," 18 Sep. 2019 Sylvana Tang of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, will discuss how the agency has been working with the public to develop a regional transportation plan. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 15 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'public.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of public

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for public

Adjective

Middle English publique, from Anglo-French, from Latin publicus; akin to Latin populus people

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Statistics for public

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for public

The first known use of public was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for public

public

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of public

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or affecting all or most of the people of a country, state, etc.
: of, relating to, paid for by, or working for a government
: supported by money from the government and from private contributors rather than by commercials

public

noun

English Language Learners Definition of public (Entry 2 of 2)

: the people of a country, state, etc.
: a group of people who have a shared interest, quality, etc.

public

adjective
pub·​lic | \ ˈpə-blik How to pronounce public (audio) \

Kids Definition of public

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : open to all a public library
2 : of or relating to the people as a whole public opinion
3 : known to many people : not kept secret The story became public.
4 : of, relating to, or working for a government or community a public prosecutor My uncle holds public office.
5 : well-known, prominent public figures

Other Words from public

publicly adverb

public

noun

Kids Definition of public (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the people as a whole The sale is open to the public.
2 : a group of people having common interests The author is adored by her public.

public

adjective
pub·​lic

Legal Definition of public

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : exposed to general view public indecency
b : known or recognized by many or most people
2a : of, relating to, or affecting all of the people or the whole area of a nation or state public statutes
b : of or relating to a government : authorized by, administered by, or acting for the people as a political entity public expenditures the public prosecutor
c : of, relating to, or being in the service of the community or nation holding public office
d : provided for, used by, or containing the records of a government agency the post office and other public buildings
3 : of or relating to people in general
4 : of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs public policy
5 : devoted to the general or national welfare
6 : accessible to or shared by all members of the community a public hearing — compare private
7 : capitalized in shares that can be freely traded on the open market often used with go

Other Words from public

publicly adverb

public

noun

Legal Definition of public (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place accessible or visible to the public usually used in the phrase in public
2 : the people as a whole

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