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

According to the document, which was lodged last year but has only just been made public, eye-tracking technology would detect when a baby is awake, asleep or close to stirring. Lianne Kolirin, CNN, "A new Google baby monitor could use AI to alert parents before infant awakes," 10 Sep. 2019 Wade and Ohatchee Police Chief Jason Oden said the sheriff’s deputies and police officer were wearing body cams but that the footage would not be made public until the investigation ends. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Calhoun County man shot by authorities after allegedly running over sheriff’s deputy," 9 Sep. 2019 The Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo has served as general director since 2003, has hired outside counsel to conduct an investigation but has declined to disclose any details about how it will be conducted or whether the results will be made public. Washington Post, "Opera union launches investigation into Domingo allegations," 8 Sep. 2019 The Los Angeles Opera, where Domingo has served as general director since 2003, has hired outside counsel to conduct an investigation but has declined to disclose any details about how it will be conducted or whether the results will be made public. chicagotribune.com, "Opera union launches investigation into Placido Domingo allegations," 8 Sep. 2019 But the biggest boost for the grade comes from the head coach’s fiery demands issued Tuesday, both in public and private, to get his players’ minds into precision and production mode. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football grades: Hard to complain in easy win over Western Michigan," 8 Sep. 2019 Other attendees at the public hearing also supported the building. Laura Bednar, cleveland.com, "Independence considers adding a brewery and restaurant to the city," 8 Sep. 2019 The identity of the woman has not been made public. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Wisconsin Teacher Accused of Raping Woman, Whom He Allegedly Enslaved Along with Her Son: Report," 5 Sep. 2019 The case was not made public at the time, but the city is now dealing with fallout from the incident — including an insurance hike for the convention center and the threat of lawsuits. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "A Baltimore security guard was convicted of watching youth in a changing area. Now the city faces fallout.," 4 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And so far, there is evidence that the public has been responding. Kristine Phillips, USA TODAY, "After massacres and thwarted plots, federal authorities confront limits in fighting domestic terror," 10 Sep. 2019 From there, the public will be able to vote for a grand prize winner. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Hallmark Wants to Transform One Lucky Fan's House into a Christmas Wonderland," 6 Sep. 2019 Admission to the book sale is free and the public is welcome. courant.com, "Community News For The Windham Edition," 6 Sep. 2019 Roseau County Sheriff Steve Gust said the public is keeping an eye out for Mathews. Amy Forliti, Twin Cities, "Ex-Canadian reservist, with alleged hate group ties, subject of northern Minnesota warning," 6 Sep. 2019 The public is welcome to come and walk through the history of Broadview Heights and to join in saluting the military and our veterans with an amazing display of uniforms, photos, medals and much more. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland.com, "Broadview Heights Historical Society now has its own home: Talk of the Towns," 6 Sep. 2019 The first race commences at 9:15 a.m. The public is welcome. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Crofton golfer Kyle Berkshire wins World Long Drive Championship; Johns Hopkins wins football season opener," 6 Sep. 2019 Police in Tucson, Arizona, are asking the public to be on the lookout for Blane and Susan Barksdale. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "‘Armed and Dangerous’ Ariz. Couple Accused of Murdering Veteran Is Loose After Escaping Custody," 29 Aug. 2019 Though Disney hasn't yet announced an opening date, the public will be able to get a better understanding of these upcoming plans on Oct. 1—which is when the company will officially present this remodel in the Odyssey Events Pavilion. Megan Uy, House Beautiful, "Disney World's Epcot Is Getting A Whole New Look—With New Rides And Attractions," 27 Aug. 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

13 Sep 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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