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

Unsure what to narrow in on when the sale finally goes public? Shayna Murphy, USA TODAY, "These retailers are having major sales to compete with Amazon Prime Day," 16 July 2019 Several high-profile location managers contacted by The Hollywood Reporter didn’t want to go public with their theories on what has been behind the facility’s struggles. Mathew Scott, The Hollywood Reporter, "What Will Become of Malaysia's $150M Film Studio After Pinewood Pulls Out?," 16 July 2019 Now a faction of writers who belong to the Writers Guild of America West and the Writers Guild of America East are beginning to go public with criticisms of the unions’ tactics. John Koblin, New York Times, "Dissent in Ranks of Hollywood Writers Who Fired Their Agents," 15 July 2019 He was charged in March with trying to extort up to $25 million from Nike by threatening to go public with claims that the sportwear company was facilitating improper payouts to promising young athletes and their families. ___ 11 a.m. Washington Post, "The Latest: Avenatti says he represents 3 R. Kelly victims," 15 July 2019 LingoChamp went public on the New York Stock Exchange last year. NBC News, "China's rising tech scene threatens U.S. brain drain as 'sea turtles' return home," 14 July 2019 The Bundesliga giants went public with their desires to sign Hudson-Odoi in January, lodging bids worth up to £35m for his services. SI.com, "Bayern Munich Ready £45m Bid for Callum Hudson-Odoi Despite Frank Lampard's Call for Him to Stay," 14 July 2019 The first one to go public, via TMZ, showed the rapper and his entourage hammering on two men in the street in daylight. Christie D'zurilla, latimes.com, "With ASAP Rocky still jailed in Sweden, celebs rally for rapper’s release," 12 July 2019 Life360 quietly went public on the Australian Securities Exchange in May of this year. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "On TikTok, Teens Meme the Safety App Ruining Their Summer," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Projects converses with Miss, best known as a public and environmental artist who crafts pieces that engage with society. BostonGlobe.com, "An artist’s love letter to feminist forebears," 17 July 2019 That means reversal of Scruton’s ritual humiliation — and equally condign sanctions against the man who willfully deceived his readers and the public about Scruton’s views. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Where’s the Outrage at the Smear of Roger Scruton?," 17 July 2019 The work would also create an outdoor space for events for the public. Tyler Johnson, Houston Chronicle, "Video crew coming to Pearland to make documentary on historic depot," 17 July 2019 Beaumont employees with her smartphone as the employees handed out leaflets to the public in front of the facility. Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "Beaumont workers, union members rally at Wayne hospital for fair contract," 17 July 2019 Guzman has been largely cut off from the outside world since his extradition in 2017 and his remarks in the courtroom Wednesday could be the last time the public hears from him. Tom Hays, Anchorage Daily News, "Drug lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán gets life sentence in U.S. federal court," 17 July 2019 The sand portion of the beach is open but the water is off limits to the public when double red flags are posted. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Man drowns in rough surf at Panama City Beach," 16 July 2019 Also true: Branson is prepping to take Virgin Galactic public as flights are being prepped for within a year. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sorry, E.T.: Richard Branson Doesn't Believe in Aliens," 16 July 2019 Posting on your personal Facebook account (rather than a public Facebook Page) about your business. Nicole Walters, Essence, "How To Act Like a Business and Get Paid Like One," 16 July 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

19 Jul 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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