public utility

noun

Definition of public utility

: a business organization (such as an electric company) performing a public service and subject to special governmental regulation

Examples of public utility in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Elizabeth Warren wants to remake corporations into de facto public utilities. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "When Politicians Direct Capital," 31 Jan. 2019 The committee is discussing proposals aimed at easing the potential liability of the state’s public utilities for wildfires. Alejandro Lazo, WSJ, "California Questions Its Growth as Its Largest Wildfire Burns," 8 Aug. 2018 Rolando Emmanuelli Jimenez, an attorney for Puerto Rico’s public utility union, said the proposal didn’t require enough sacrifice from Cofina bondholders given the territory’s shrinking tax base. Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "Puerto Rico’s $18 Billion Bond Restructuring Nears Completion," 19 Jan. 2019 The park was leveled, and the grounds now hold office buildings for a public utility. azcentral, "Iconic Arizona businesses that are closed," 4 Nov. 2014 Like trash cans on major thoroughfares, bike share was not a recreational pastime but a public utility. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Let’s organize the city outside our front door with as much care as we do our homes," 30 Aug. 2018 Utilities and public utility commissions often support expansion of the natural gas network. David Roberts, Vox, "Most American homes are still heated with fossil fuels. It’s time to electrify.," 2 July 2018 But in South Africa, millions of dollars flowing out of a struggling public utility and into the pockets of consultants driving Porsches and Ferraris created an unsavory image that required a response. New York Times, "How McKinsey Lost Its Way in South Africa," 26 June 2018 What is less understood is that even when governments force public utilities to buy renewables, power companies still have to use fossil fuels or uranium to keep the grid up and running when the sun and wind are off duty. George Melloan, WSJ, "Pruitt Leaves a Proud Legacy at the EPA," 11 July 2018

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

1895, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about public utility

Share public utility

Statistics for public utility

Last Updated

27 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for public utility

The first known use of public utility was in 1895

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for public utility

public utility

noun

English Language Learners Definition of public utility

: a company (such as an electric company) that provides a public service and must follow special rules made by the government

public utility

noun

Legal Definition of public utility

: a business organization (as an electric company) performing a public service and subject to special government regulation

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on public utility

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with public utility

Nglish: Translation of public utility for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about public utility

Comments on public utility

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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