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

Bembien’s designs are inspired by classic coastal French and Italian style and the mission of the brand is to put the traditional weave of our artisans on the global market and in the public eye. Minna Shim, Harper's BAZAAR, "Channel French Girl Chic With This Brand," 28 Mar. 2019 Although plans for the project are not public now, statements regarding the purchase have reassured Waco residents that the Gaineses won't be doing anything too dramatic. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Chip and Joanna Gaines Just Bought A Museum to Go With Their Castle," 12 Mar. 2019 Struggling with mental health is hard enough on its own, but doing so in the public eye, seems pretty much impossible. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Justin Bieber Comes Clean In an Intense Instagram Post and Says He's “Been Struggling A Lot”," 11 Mar. 2019 So that has put it back out in the public eye again to say, hmm, so how much more runoff will there be or not? WSJ, "Transcript: WSJ Interview With Kansas City Fed President Esther George," 16 Jan. 2019 In recent years, Stalin has been making a comeback in the public eye in Russia, with monuments erected in several cities and his face dotting souvenir stands. Maria Danilova, The Seattle Times, "Russian novel tells story of survival, love in Stalin’s camp," 14 Jan. 2019 However, because most games are played on private platforms, not open public forums, expectations of privacy or free speech would largely not apply. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Intel hopes to clean up toxic speech in game chat with AI and machine learning," 20 Mar. 2019 The response was overwhelming and inspired other public figures to share similar stories. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Gabrielle Union, Yahya Abdul-Mateen and Other Actors Call Out Stylists Who Can’t Work With Black Hair," 12 Mar. 2019 Update: The Jordy lipstick went on sale before the allegations were made public as part of a 50-percent off sale back in January. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Put Her Lipstick Shade Named After Jordyn Woods On Sale," 21 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Penalty cases are not uncommon, but what is unusual is that the public is learning the operators’ identities. Rebecca Smith, WSJ, "PG&E Among Utilities Cited for Failing to Protect Against Cyber and Physical Attacks," 9 Apr. 2019 This announcement also comes at a pivotal moment for the lingerie giant as the public is calling for the brand to embrace more diversity from race to body types. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Leomie Anderson Is The Newest Victoria's Secret Angel," 4 Apr. 2019 The egg hunt is free and open to the public (download your **free** ticket early, though!). Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "We Found the Best Easter Egg Hunts Near New York City," 11 Mar. 2019 According to a new report from People, based on interviews with several of Meghan's close friends (all of whom go unnamed in the story), there's a lot to the Meghan Markle and Thomas Markle drama that the public hasn't been privy to. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Letter to Her Dad, Thomas Markle, After the Royal Wedding Is Heart-Wrenching," 9 Feb. 2019 The public is also welcome to dedicate a day of service to Bush. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "All the Details on George H. W. Bush's Funeral," 6 Dec. 2018 For some designers in Japan, using Designart as an opportunity to educate the public is crucial. Sarah Hucal, Curbed, "Designart Tokyo, in second-annual event, shows promise," 27 Nov. 2018 But the calls for harassment and push for any Trump supporter to avoid the public is unacceptable. Fox News, "Ted Cruz latest Republican accosted after Maxine Waters' call for confrontation," 26 Sep. 2018 Still, the public has strong opinions about the news. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Michael Kors Is Buying Versace for $2 Billion," 25 Sep. 2018

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

12 Apr 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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