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public

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adjective pub·lic \ˈpə-blik\

Definition of public

  1. 1a :  exposed to general view :  openb :  well-known, prominentc :  perceptible, material

  2. 2a :  of, relating to, or affecting all the people or the whole area of a nation or state public lawb :  of or relating to a governmentc :  of, relating to, or being in the service of the community or nation

  3. 3a :  of or relating to people in general :  universalb :  general, popular

  4. 4 :  of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs :  social

  5. 5 :  devoted to the general or national welfare :  humanitarian

  6. 6a :  accessible to or shared by all members of the communityb :  capitalized in shares that can be freely traded on the open market —often used with go

  7. 7 :  supported by public funds and private contributions rather than by income from commercials public radio public television

publicness

noun

Examples of public in a Sentence

  1. Public outrage over the scandal eventually forced him to resign.

  2. The ads are intended to increase public awareness of the risks of smoking.

  3. She was elected to a public office.

  4. He was in Congress for many years but he recently retired from public life.

  5. They decided on a nearby restaurant as a convenient public place to meet.

  6. The government has allowed public access to the documents.

  7. The city council is holding a public meeting.

  8. This will be her first public performance in five years.

  9. Her trial will be public.

Recent Examples of public from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of public

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


2

public

noun pub·lic

Definition of public

  1. 1 :  a place accessible or visible to the public —usually used in the phrase in public

  2. 2 :  the people as a whole :  populace

  3. 3 :  a group of people having common interests or characteristics; specifically :  the group at which a particular activity or enterprise aims

Examples of public in a Sentence

  1. The beach is open to the public.

  2. The general public is in favor of the law.

  3. Members of the public called for the mayor's resignation.

Recent Examples of public from the Web

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.

First Known Use of public

15th century


PUBLIC Defined for English Language Learners

public

play
adjective

Definition of public for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of public for English Language Learners

  • the public : the people of a country, state, etc.

  • : a group of people who have a shared interest, quality, etc.


PUBLIC Defined for Kids

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public

play
adjective pub·lic \ˈpə-blik\

Definition of public for Students

  1. 1 :  open to all a public library

  2. 2 :  of or relating to the people as a whole public opinion

  3. 3 :  known to many people :  not kept secret The story became public.

  4. 4 :  of, relating to, or working for a government or community a public prosecutor My uncle holds public office.

  5. 5 :  well-known, prominent public figures

publicly

adverb

2

public

play
noun pub·lic

Definition of public for Students

  1. 1 :  the people as a whole The sale is open to the public.

  2. 2 :  a group of people having common interests The author is adored by her public.


Law Dictionary

1

public

adjective pub·lic

Legal Definition of public

  1. 1a :  exposed to general view public indecency b :  known or recognized by many or most people

  2. 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. 3 :  of or relating to people in general

  4. 4 :  of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs public policy

  5. 5 :  devoted to the general or national welfare

  6. 6 :  accessible to or shared by all members of the community a public hearing — compare private

  7. 7 :  capitalized in shares that can be freely traded on the open market —often used with go

publicly

adverb

2

public

noun pub·lic

Legal Definition of public

  1. 1 :  a place accessible or visible to the public —usually used in the phrase in public

  2. 2 :  the people as a whole



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