public service


Definition of public service

1 : the business of supplying a commodity (such as electricity or gas) or service (such as transportation) to any or all members of a community
2 : a service rendered in the public interest
3 : governmental employment especially : civil service

Examples of public service in a Sentence

The cost of public services is on the rise. The station is running antismoking commercials as a public service. The company is heavily involved in public service. He works in public service. She has devoted her life to public service.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Chi has two decades of public service, including serving as Barstow’s assistant city manager for nearly four years. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach hires Oliver Chi as new city manager," 6 Aug. 2019 So, there was plenty to talk about Friday night as Sensenbrenner was honored for his half-century of public service during the Republican Party of Wisconsin Lincoln-Reagan Dinner. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Waukesha Republicans celebrate Jim Sensenbrenner's 50 years in public service," 14 June 2019 There was a really resounding rejection of President Donald Trump’s approach to public service. Iman Hariri-kia, Teen Vogue, "Meet Will Haskell, the 22-Year-Old Who Beat a Republican Who Had Been in Office as Long as He’s Been Alive," 14 Nov. 2018 The coverage focused on a community recovering from Hurricane Harvey and won a national Society of Professional Journalists award for public service. Laura Garcia,, "Nix hospital settles pregnancy-discrimination lawsuit," 4 Sep. 2019 Her commitment to public service earned her the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Norma Gibbs, Huntington’s first female council member and mayor, dies at 94," 29 Aug. 2019 Earlier this month, an administrative judge recommended Pantaleo be dismissed from public service. Chris Harris,, "NYPD Fires Officer For Illegal Chokehold in Eric Garner's Death," 19 Aug. 2019 That’s not exactly a billboard or public service announcement. Stephen L. Carter, Twin Cities, "Stephen L. Carter: Get off the bandwagon of banning plastic bags," 7 Aug. 2019 Ashford has managed to largely maintain its public services along with some of the lowest property tax rates in the county. Peter S. Goodman, New York Times, "Austerity Has Ravaged U.K. Communities. It Has Also Spurred Reinvention.," 22 June 2019

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

1576, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about public service

Statistics for public service

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for public service

The first known use of public service was in 1576

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for public service

public service


English Language Learners Definition of public service

: the business of supplying something (such as electricity, gas, or transportation) to the members of a community
: something that is done to help people rather than to make a profit
: work that someone does as part of a government : the work done by public servants

More from Merriam-Webster on public service

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with public service Encyclopedia article about public service

Comments on public service

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


tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!