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 For 11 months, Beverly Hills city staff and contract workers — including public works, police and park ranger employees — had almost 55,000 contacts with the public or businesses about issues related to masks, the agenda said. Grace Toohey, Los Angeles Times, 26 July 2022 Department directors in finance, public works, community services and community development are getting a pay bump, as well as the assistant city manager, the city clerk, the city engineer, fire marshal and more. Angelina Hicks, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 July 2022 Police, fire and rescue, public works, construction trucks, sewer and inspection departments are being affected the most. Scott Turner |, al, 2 July 2022 More than 1,500 city frontline employees — including transportation, public works, parks & recreation and other workers — are also getting an enhanced premium pay of $4.12 per hour over their base pay this year. Wilborn Nobles, ajc, 20 June 2022 Mayor Justin Bibb Wednesday announced another round of top-level hires, naming new leaders to oversee community relations, public works, capital projects and the city’s approach to transportation. Courtney Astolfi, cleveland, 1 June 2022 High costs mean companies are not bidding to take on public works, including a bridge in Rome that was to be the first project built with EU recovery funds. Colleen Barry, The Christian Science Monitor, 20 May 2022 Police and first responders from nine departments, public works crews from Lavallette, and the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office responded to the accident. Globe Staff,, 18 May 2022 None has substantially changed the framework of the public works package, which would send money for roads, bridges, water works, broadband and other projects to virtually every corner of the nation. Kevin Freking And Lisa Mascaro,, 6 Aug. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of public works

1600, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About public works

Time Traveler for public works

Time Traveler

The first known use of public works was in 1600

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near public works

public way

public works

public works and ways system

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for public works

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Public works.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on public works Encyclopedia article about public works


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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