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

On politics, Queen Elizabeth II may have many thoughts, but none of them are supposed to be public. Washington Post, "The queen has to remain neutral on Trump, but one comment in an otherwise diplomatic speech surprised," 5 June 2019 Slack and possibly Airbnb are going public via a direct listing. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Scott Kupor Demystifies the Venture Capital Funding Process In New Book," 4 June 2019 After those cases became public, the company stopped injecting patients’ eyes, but continued using its procedure for other conditions. Laura Mcginley And William Wan, sun-sentinel.com, "FDA wins groundbreaking case against for-profit Sunrise stem cell company," 4 June 2019 Parliament has passed laws banning women from wearing the burqa or other face coverings in public. The Economist, "Under left or right, Denmark is set to adopt ever harsher policies against migrants," 4 June 2019 Pineda-Ancheta apparently had no criminal record in North Carolina, and aside from the theft of the woman’s smartphone, all the April offenses were misdemeanors, according to public records. Jane Wester, charlotteobserver, "Honduras native arrested in Charlotte, charged with illegally reentering the US," 4 June 2019 Community members can submit public comments and suggest edits to the 222-page plan over the course of the next month. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "The future of the White River is in your hands. Here's what you need to know.," 4 June 2019 The Nasdaq Nasdaq: Online luxury goods reseller The RealReal is the latest S.F. company to file for a public offering. Taylor Kate Brown, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Briefing: BART fare increase may not be a done deal," 4 June 2019 His first public appearance was at a Steelers home game. Stephen Means, cleveland.com, "Former Ohio State football standout Ryan Shazier honored with the 2019 George Halas Award," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The site claims the parade will be free and open to the public. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "Three men announce plans to hold a "Straight Pride Parade" in Boston," 5 June 2019 The area was closed to the public since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq to topple dictator Saddam Hussein. Washington Post, "Baghdad’s Green Zone reopens to the public," 5 June 2019 Sephora provided few details about its workshops, which were closed to the public. Alexandra Olson, chicagotribune.com, "An hour without Sephora: Beauty retailer closes all U.S. stores today for 'inclusion workshops'," 5 June 2019 The show, which is open to the public, will run from 9 to 11 a.m. June 9, at Barrington Avenue and River Street. Erin Sauder, Elgin Courier-News, "Coffee & Classics show a chance to see rare, expensive European cars in downtown East Dundee," 5 June 2019 Scientific American Scratches on nuclear storage canisters at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station pose no safety concerns to the public, according to a new analysis from federal regulators. Julia Wick, latimes.com, "Essential California: Why L.A.'s homeless population continues to climb," 5 June 2019 Add it all up, and the system is designed to protect the population while providing harvest opportunities to the public, according to the DNR. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: When it comes to wildcats in Wisconsin, bobcats are king," 5 June 2019 In a move the following morning to quell the controversy, Biden released the records to the public. Author: Neena Satija, Anchorage Daily News, "Echoes of Biden’s 1987 plagiarism scandal continue to reverberate," 5 June 2019 Traffic Jam is one of six ciders available year-round to the public. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "Traffic Jam and Snug suing Blake's Hard Cider over drink name," 4 June 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

7 Jun 2019

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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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