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

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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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 Working with Sanders and Cloutman, Thomas helped the district pivot to policies that turned the tide of public opinion, Wright said: improved facilities, volunteer transfers, more magnet programs, learning centers and bilingual education. Corbett Smith, Dallas News, "Dallas attorney Robert Hyer Thomas remembered as a ‘calming force’ during desegregation case," 12 Feb. 2020 The Journal reports that the judge is expected to make his decision public on Tuesday, and that the parties have been told a ruling is coming. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Investors aren't panicking about Bernie Sanders. Here's why," 11 Feb. 2020 Details were confirmed by a person familiar with the proposal who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because MLB did not authorize any public comments. Ronald Blum, Houston Chronicle, "Source: MLB considering expanding playoffs to 14 teams," 11 Feb. 2020 Researchers may sometimes resort to performing tests without knowledge or consent of the organization, nevertheless acting in good faith, with public interest in mind. Lukasz Olejnik, Wired, "India's Data Protection Bill Threatens Global Cybersecurity," 8 Feb. 2020 Addicts have stripped naked in public, threatened strangers, and otherwise made residents feel unsafe. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "San Francisco opens 24-hour ‘sobering’ tents to help meth-addicted residents," 7 Feb. 2020 Eventually, four allegations were made public, which included rape and assault. Michelle Villegas Threadgould, SFChronicle.com, "What happens when your spiritual leader fails you? An SF group found out," 7 Feb. 2020 The folder, containing more than 300 pages of depositions, public records requests and court filings, has been sitting on the top shelf in my office for more than two years. Nick Talbot, ExpressNews.com, "Talbot: Jett Duffey incidents at Texas Tech show universities still have long way to go on sexual assault," 7 Feb. 2020 In the spring of 1968, Minnie Pearl’s stock went public, and its initial offering of $20 a share doubled by the end of the day. Marcia Chatelain, The Atlantic, "The United States of Franchising," 6 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The public will be able to hear the meeting via audio with the village's teleconference equipment. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Menomonee Falls is looking for a new fire chief after retirement of its interim chief," 26 Mar. 2020 Save Kentucky Democracy Coalition members circle the Kentucky Capitol to protest the General Assembly meeting when the public is unable to attend. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky legislators see bleak outlook for state budget as coronavirus impacts revenue," 26 Mar. 2020 Streaming services have made long-form documentaries much more accessible to the general public than ever before. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Every game Cincinnati Reds don't play is an opportunity lost," 26 Mar. 2020 These White House sessions—ostensibly meant to give the public critical and truthful information about this frightening crisis—are in fact working against that end. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "How Andrew Cuomo Became a Media Darling," 26 Mar. 2020 The public must be able to trust in the accuracy, integrity and completeness of the data being reported. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "'Quite ominous': Unemployment claims for last week could reach several million due to CVOID-19 layoffs," 25 Mar. 2020 Being transparent also means the public is less likely to let down its guard, which can help the implementation of epidemic control measures and prevent a rebound in cases, Li added. Nectar Gan, CNN, "China's premier warns local officials not to hide new coronavirus infections," 25 Mar. 2020 With uncertainty abound amid the coronavirus outbreak, a rattled public is clutching to glimmers of hope and levity, including embracing Deborah Birx as a pop culture icon. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Deborah Birx earns fashion clout amid coronavirus tumult," 25 Mar. 2020 Data obtained by The Courier Journal from JCPS under the state's public records law shows more than 2,300 students recorded at least one day at Peace during the 2018-19 school year. courier-journal.com, "JCPS is pulling hundreds of kids from class for psych evaluations and threatening parents," 25 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for public

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for public

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Public.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/public. Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for public

public

adjective
How to pronounce public (audio)

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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