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

In the current political landscape, the president is taken by the voters as the main agent who is responsible for the public interest. Jay Cost, National Review, "Restoring Congress: The Parties Are a Solution," 17 June 2019 The new details on the project were contained in documents made public in advance of a meeting Wednesday of the village Plan Commission, which will consider a conditional use permit for Foxconn. Rick Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Foxconn factory plan calls for hundreds of trees surrounding concrete and metal walls," 17 June 2019 The boy, whose name has not been made public, was swimming off the coast when he was attacked, Bald Head Island officials tell PEOPLE in a statement. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Boy, 8, Bit by Shark in North Carolina, Incident Is Third Attack in Weeks: Here's How to Stay Safe," 17 June 2019 The bureau’s public affairs office did not immediately respond to an email Monday evening. Eric Heisig, cleveland.com, "Nate Gray, once powerful confidant to Cleveland Mayor Mike White, released from federal prison," 17 June 2019 David McBride had followed public-interest disclosure rules by raising his concerns with his department. The Economist, "Australia’s surprising disregard for free speech," 15 June 2019 Another potential candidate is Tony Sayegh, the departing assistant secretary for public affairs at the Treasury Department who is leaving his post as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's chief spokesman. Fin Gomez, CBS News, "White House eyes candidates to replace Sarah Sanders," 14 June 2019 The push for a city school district was linked to public interest and action, District 2 City Councilman Levon Manzie, a former school board member, told AL.com in March 2018. Lily Jackson | Ljackson@al.com, al.com, "Proposed Mobile City School District is dead," 12 June 2019 Kuhn said the public interest will be best served by honoring a constitutional guarantee that any party in a trial court has the right to an appeal. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "When will the secret Bevin pension document be released? Judge indicates it could be soon," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All 16 of the practices are open to the public, 13 of which will have a theme. Tyler Kraft, Indianapolis Star, "Indianapolis Colts release 2019 training camp schedule," 19 June 2019 Bringing in a lot of kickers and cutting a lot of them, making the competition very transparent to the public too. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "Bears Q&A: Is team handling the kicking competition correctly? How will Matt Nagy balance the offense?," 19 June 2019 Every practice, which will be held at the Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs, will be open to the public. Christian Simmons, sun-sentinel.com, "Florida Panthers to hold development camp open to fans," 19 June 2019 The network is secure, encrypted and off limits to the public. USA TODAY, "‘Lorax’ tree legend, butter Elmo, meth squirrel: News from around our 50 states," 19 June 2019 An article on Tuesday about the Museum of Modern Art’s last official day open to the public before its planned renovation misstated the age of Chet Gold, a security supervisor at the Museum of Modern Art. New York Times, "Corrections: June 19, 2019," 19 June 2019 The sheriff’s office said no officers were injured in the incident, and there is no ongoing threat to the public. Saja Hindi, The Denver Post, "Police investigating officer-involved shooting in Jefferson County," 18 June 2019 Natalie Bell, of Beaconsfield, Australia, was looking for ways to make her daughter’s hearing loss known to the public in case of an emergency. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Mom Creates Special Seat Belt Cover for Daughter with Hearing Loss: This Will 'Keep Me Safe!'," 18 June 2019 Standard black shorts and socks will accompany the new shirt, with the full kit expected to be released to the public at some point next month. SI.com, "Man City Away Kit 2019/20: New Leak Shows Strip Which Pays Tribute to Haçienda Nightclub," 18 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

21 Jun 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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