public domain

noun

Definition of public domain

1 : land owned directly by the government
2 : the realm embracing property rights that belong to the community at large, are unprotected by copyright or patent, and are subject to appropriation by anyone

Examples of public domain in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As of 2017, the Bureau of Land Management had 245 million acres earmarked for public domain. Popular Science, "Six ways the 2020 census will change your life," 21 Aug. 2020 Few details of Britney’s conservatorship are in the public domain. Claire Gillespie, Health.com, "Why Does Britney Spears Need a Conservatorship—And What Does it Mean to Have One?," 20 Aug. 2020 While the character of Sherlock Holmes and Doyle's stories written before 1923 entered into the public domain in 2014, the estate did retain the rights to Doyle's last 10 stories. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Millie Bobby Brown to Play Sherlock's Little Sister in Enola Holmes," 25 June 2020 Last month, the Smithsonian released 2.8 million high-resolution images from its collections into the public domain. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, "Eight Digital Education Resources From the Smithsonian," 17 Mar. 2020 All this, plus name recognition and the public domain! Mary Sollosi, EW.com, "The Personal History of David Copperfield," 28 Aug. 2020 In earlier works, now in the public domain, his aloofness and lack of empathy are crucial aspects of his character and must be respected in any adaptation, the estate claimed. Jack Guy, CNN, "'Enola Holmes' movie trailer released on Netflix," 26 Aug. 2020 Starting in 1862, the federal government gave Ohio 630,000 acres of public domain land to sell to establish Ohio State. cleveland, "‘Land grant’ Ohio State University: Native Americans demand recognition from schools they funded, sometimes unwillingly," 7 Aug. 2020 Although Dam obtained a U.S. copyright for his trolls in 1965, Uneeda had already sold countless troll dolls by then, miring them in the public domain. Michelle Delgado, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Colorful History of the Troll Doll," 9 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'public domain.' 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 domain

1819, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for public domain

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The first known use of public domain was in 1819

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Public domain.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/public%20domain. Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for public domain

public domain

noun
public do·​main | \ -dō-ˈmān \

Legal Definition of public domain

1 : land owned directly by the government
2 : the realm or status of property rights that belong to the community at large, are unprotected by copyright or patent, and are subject to appropriation by anyone

More from Merriam-Webster on public domain

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about public domain

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