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

But he's been in public service for the last two decades and living on a judge's salary for the last 12 years. Howard Kurtz, Fox News, "Kavanaugh's baseball debts: Why the nominee's opponents are striking out," 13 July 2018 Arizona schools recruit Californians Ernesto Hernandez, a senior majoring in public service and public policy at ASU, applied to a few public universities in California, but said ASU was his first choice. Rachel Leingang, azcentral, "Arizona universities got a boost in admissions from California in the past decade," 12 July 2018 Deloitte’s government and public services practice has about 13,000 employees. Michael Forsythe, New York Times, "Employees Call on Deloitte to Stop Working With ICE," 12 July 2018 Poverty and underfunded public services are one result. Joseph N. Distefano,, "Philly poverty: Cause, or effect?," 11 July 2018 His colleagues said he was focused and analytical, and had a genuine dedication to public service. Christopher Mele, New York Times, "2 Plead Guilty to Manslaughter in Gas Explosion That Killed a Fire Chief," 13 July 2018 Meisten dedicated much of his life to public service including four years with the U.S. Air Force, according to a press release about his life and career. Sheila Vilvens,, "Remembering the FBI agent in charge of investigation into Reagan assassination attempt," 11 July 2018 The modern raison d'etre for all royals is to prove their worth through philanthropy and public service. USA TODAY, "At Santa Fe High School, police had an active-shooter plan. Then the fog of chaos descended," 21 May 2018 Khadijah Brydson-Van Social Science, 2010, Carol City High Khadijah Brydson-Van’s heart belongs in public service. Colleen Wright, miamiherald, "Behind every Silver Knight winner, there is an adviser pushing them to the finish | Miami Herald," 17 May 2018

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

Share public service

Statistics for public service

Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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

See 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).


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
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!