public land


Definition of public land

: land owned by a government specifically : that part of the U.S. public domain subject to sale or disposal under the homestead laws

Examples of public land in a Sentence

the management of public lands The government will auction off 20 parcels of public land.

Recent Examples on the Web

At a time when fighting climate change is more urgent than ever, the Secretary did nothing to address the fact that nearly a quarter of the US' carbon emissions come from the life cycle of drilling and mining on public lands. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump will replace Interior Department Secretary next week," 16 Dec. 2018 Rebecca August, a public lands advocate with Los Padres ForestWatch, a nonprofit, attended a hearing on California’s emergency-warning system earlier this week. Alejandro Lazo, WSJ, "California Rethinks Firefighting Tactics, Evacuation Routes for Future Wildfires," 30 Nov. 2018 Katie Goodwin, public lands associate at the Access Fund, sees many closures consisting of a half-mile radius that extends from a cliff face. Ula Chrobak, Outside Online, "We're Overprotecting Birds at the Expense of Climbers," 12 July 2018 Critics say the land deal gives the appearance of an inappropriate relationship between the secretary and an energy company that stands to benefit from the Trump administration’s push to increase drilling on public lands., "President’s son drops appearance at Bush fund-raiser," 20 June 2018 Complicating the issue is that nearly all Oregon ranchers graze cattle on public land for part of the year. Kale Williams,, "As Oregon wolves rebound, tensions rise over livestock attacks," 10 June 2018 Generally, public land use must serve a community benefit and the city must protect itself from liabilities. David Hernandez,, "National City tries to address concerns over community garden," 6 June 2018 As oil and gas became integral to the Texas economy, the Land Office leased public lands to oil and gas companies. Alejandra Matos, Houston Chronicle, "What exactly does the Texas General Land Office do?," 12 Feb. 2018 A day prior, President Donald Trump had pardoned them, wiping away convictions of felony arson on public land. Jake Bullinger, Outside Online, "Trump’s Pardon Condones Western Rebellion," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'public land.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of public land

1789, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about public land

Statistics for public land

Last Updated

14 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for public land

The first known use of public land was in 1789

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for public land

public land


English Language Learners Definition of public land

US : land that is owned and taken care of by the government

public land


Legal Definition of public land

: land owned by a government

More from Merriam-Webster on public land

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with public land

Comments on public land

What made you want to look up public land? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!