public works

plural noun

Definition of public works

: works (such as schools, highways, docks) constructed for public use or enjoyment especially when financed and owned by the government

Examples of public works in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The measures, which voters will consider individually, proposed improvements to parks, the city pool, the drainage system, the public works building and roadways and to build a new community center. Carissa D. Lamkahouan, Houston Chronicle, "Public safety facilities focus of Friendswood bond proposition," 16 Sep. 2019 The veteran, after his service in the U.S. Navy, served as a constable, volunteer fireman, ambulance association member, cross walk guard and public works snow plower. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, "Hilarious obituary honors prankster dad. He left 'a house full of crap' and decades of laughter," 12 Sep. 2019 Princess Kate has made mental health a central plank of her public work and Curtis, who also wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral, has previously talked about the difficulties for relatives of those who lose someone to suicide. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Kate Middleton Quietly Met with Love Actually Director Richard Curtis for This Special Reason," 12 Sep. 2019 The city has no permanent building inspector, and the public works director is leaving next Friday. Bob Shaw, Twin Cities, "Lakeland mayor locks up City Hall, stunning city officials," 10 Sep. 2019 Carmen said the city’s public works department workers learned from the manufacturer how to properly lay the turf and thus saved money that would have been spent hiring installers. cleveland.com, "Beachwood’s anticipated dog park, Barkwood, set for Sept. 22 grand opening," 7 Sep. 2019 The royal has made mental health and the prevention of male suicide a key part of his public workPrince William is taking his mental health campaign to the soccer field. Simon Perry, PEOPLE.com, "Prince William Visits Soccer Club to Promote Mental Health — and Calls Out 'Outrageous' Racism in Sports," 6 Sep. 2019 Those measures to lower the lake levels for the Orlo Vista area worked and will continue to work in the upcoming weeks, according to Diana Almodovar, Orange County’s public works director. Martin E. Comas, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian: Flooded by Irma in 2017, Orlo Vista spared this time," 4 Sep. 2019 Government officials said that by first light, public works crews were clearing roads and utility workers were repairing power lines. Washington Post, "The U.S. Virgin Islands suffered power outages and Puerto Rico was largely unscathed, but Florida might feel the brunt of the storm.," 1 Sep. 2019

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

1600, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about public works

Statistics for public works

Last Updated

26 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for public works

The first known use of public works was in 1600

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for public works

public works

noun

English Language Learners Definition of public works

: buildings and structures (such as schools, highways, and docks) that are built and owned by a government

More from Merriam-Webster on public works

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about public works

Comments on public works

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

WORD OF THE DAY

friendly or mild

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?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!