public figure


: a well-known person

Examples of public figure in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During their years in Havana, the couple raised two daughters while Morgan cut a swashbuckling public figure who was sought out by reporters and became the center of attention of U.S. intelligence investigators and the Kennedy White House during a critical period of the Cold War. Michael Sallah, Miami Herald, 17 Apr. 2024 The singer-songwriter isn't the only public figure who has been candid about her struggles with the autoimmune disease. Jessica Wang,, 16 Apr. 2024 And fake news and announcements — whether by a major company, public figure, a random social media user or your childhood best friend — can take off quickly and morph wildly, thanks to social media. Rachel Treisman, NPR, 1 Apr. 2024 As her fame grew, Holiday would face more than the prejudices of the day — federal and local government agencies were intent on diminishing her stature as a public figure. Paul Alexander, Washington Post, 30 Mar. 2024 Instead, the people willing to shell out money for the status symbol consisted of a cocktail of Musk super-fans, right-wing trolls and others who would not have been able to attain a checkmark under the legacy system which required them to be a notable public figure. Oliver Darcy, CNN, 5 Apr. 2024 Swift—a public figure with a platform comparable to that of some presidents—could be able to get everyday people to start caring about the issue, the former policy maker adds. Brian Contreras, Scientific American, 8 Feb. 2024 Navalny, who was educated as a lawyer, became active in politics in the early two-thousands and emerged as a public figure around 2010. Masha Gessen, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 Many observers and analysts found that noteworthy, given that Ohanian is still a rather public figure. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 23 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'public figure.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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Cite this Entry

“Public figure.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

Legal Definition

public figure

public fig·​ure
: an individual or entity that has acquired fame or notoriety or has participated in a particular public controversy see also limited purpose public figure compare public official

Note: A public figure must prove actual malice in order to prevail in a defamation action.

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