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

Building trade unions and business groups are battling over a New York budget provision that would expand the definition of public works that require higher wage rates. Jimmy Vielkind, WSJ, "Push to Expand Prevailing Wage Sparks Budget Fight in Albany," 14 Mar. 2019 Roads and subways are in disrepair as politicians have neglected public works to boost pay and benefits for their union friends. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Blue State Challenge," 24 Dec. 2018 Contact your local department of public works to schedule the removal, or use this EPA Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) page to find a partner program near you. Alissa Katz, Good Housekeeping, "How to Dispose of Everything, Including Old Cell Phones, Mattresses, and Batteries," 8 Jan. 2019 The agreement covers Local 3298, which represents professional, technical and clerical positions, and Local 1514, which represents public works and public property employees. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Aurora approves raises for union city employees," 16 Apr. 2018 In 2008, pension funds for public works and public safety employees in Detroit sued Watkins after his air cargo company, TradeWinds Airlines, went bankrupt. James Crepea,, "Auburn basketball vs. Texas A&M live score updates, analysis," 7 Feb. 2018 But that is propped up by higher government spending on public works construction that helps to mask weakness in real estate sales and other areas that weighs on consumer confidence. Joe Mcdonald, The Seattle Times, "China’s auto sales fall in November for fifth month," 11 Dec. 2018 Those people overwhelmingly cited jobs (92 percent) as the reason for their approval, while nearly 60 percent said investment in public works and infrastructure improvements was their reason. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How Kevin Hart tweeted himself out of a job hosting the Oscars," 8 Dec. 2018 The public works department is completing work on Kansas City’s first parking protected bike lanes along Armour Boulevard from Broadway to The Paseo. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "Will Kansas City ever be bike-friendly? The city is about to roll out a plan," 13 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of public works

1600, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for public works

Last Updated

28 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for public works

The first known use of public works was in 1600

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More Definitions for public works

public works


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 Encyclopedia article about public works

Comments on public works

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a secret plot to overthrow a government

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