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

The battle over how to frame Mueller’s appearance, and the question of whether any mind can be changed three months after the report entered the public domain, will shape the outcome of the day. Alana Abramson, Time, "Mueller’s Testimony Isn’t Expected to Deliver Bombshells. Here’s Why It Still Matters," 24 July 2019 In the time before the chats burst into the public domain, the handsome and charming governor appeared to have a teflon coat. John Bacon, USA TODAY, "The once-untouchable Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló: Can he survive?," 23 July 2019 Thanks to the fact that most NASA images are in the public domain, there are plenty of incredible photos to admire of the first moonwalkers. Tim Fernholz, Quartz, "The best Apollo 11 content to read, watch, and experience," 19 July 2019 Just as in the private sector, there aren’t enough female CEOs in the public domain, either. Shirley Leung, BostonGlobe.com, "This time, let’s skip the old-boy network and let the woman run Massport," 24 June 2019 Most were newspaper clippings published between 1880 and 1921, material that was originally in the public domain. Laura Dean, The New Yorker, "The Threat of War Brings New Fears to an American Hostage in Iran," 24 June 2019 According to the Reno Memo, the design will be a public domain -— just like ours. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "It's OK Reno, Nev., your new flag design looks good, just like the Milwaukee People's Flag," 26 Apr. 2018 Two decades of research into how human DNA at the single-gene level codes for traits and diseases has already put most of that information in the public domain. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Congress Is Debating—Again—Whether Genes Can Be Patented," 5 June 2019 Other opponents of the Academy’s plan argued that the western public domain embraced much fine agricultural land. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018

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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Last Updated

1 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for public domain

The first known use of public domain was in 1819

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with public domain

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about public domain

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