pub·lic·i·ty | \(ˌ)pə-ˈbli-sə-tē, -ˈbli-stē\

Definition of publicity 

1 : the quality or state of being public

2a : an act or device designed to attract public interest specifically : information with news value issued as a means of gaining public attention or support

b : the dissemination of information or promotional material

c : paid advertising

d : public attention or acclaim

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Synonyms for publicity


ballyhoo, hype

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Examples of publicity in a Sentence

His public appearances are good publicity for the new movie. An arrest for drunk driving is bad publicity for any celebrity. The film has gotten some good publicity. She has received a lot of publicity for her latest novel. The studio spent a lot of money on publicity for the movie.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Some fans, pointing out that Justin and Ariana have the same manager (Scooter Braun) are even going so far as to call conspiracy theory/publicity stunt/general not real engagement on both couples. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Ariana Grande Tweeted and Deleted a Reaction to Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin's Engagement," 8 July 2018 Milk’s significance as a symbol of gay liberation has eclipsed the reality of the man—a political latecomer and rhetorical savant, whose compassion for the dispossessed vied with an avarice for publicity that sometimes drew him toward populism. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 24 June 2018 Many channels have suffered steep declines in ad sales as Google’s YouTube tinkers with which videos are eligible for publicity. Lucas Shaw,, "YouTube Is Offering a Talent Option to Sell Subscriptions," 22 June 2018 Pruitt’s publicity tour comes as support appears to be dwindling among some subsets of the Trump base. Justin Worland, Time, "Scott Pruitt Is Fighting a Growing List of Scandals by Going to the Heartland," 14 June 2018 HuffPost reporter Yashar Ali remembered Bourdain texting him about criticism that McGowan faced on her publicity tour. Vanities, "Rose McGowan Defends “Pillar of Strength” Asia Argento in Open Letter," 11 June 2018 The same can't be said for Knoxville, who's been boasting about his numerous injuries, including a particularly gruesome one involving his eye socket, during a recent publicity tour. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Action Point': Film Review," 1 June 2018 On the latest episode of Recode Decode, Kohn talks about how her publicity tour for the book has been tangled up in a bitter misunderstanding about race, privilege and reporting. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: The T-Mobile-Sprint merger would shrink the U.S. wireless market to just three national players," 30 Apr. 2018 To be clear, the Next Generation-era bridge Huddleston found some publicity around is not the one that was used in the filming of the famed television show. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Man who saved NCC-1701-D touring bridge pleads guilty to child porn charge," 22 June 2018

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

1609, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to publicity

publicity stunt

Statistics for publicity

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for publicity

The first known use of publicity was in 1609

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More Definitions for publicity



English Language Learners Definition of publicity

: something that attracts the attention of the public

: attention that is given to someone or something by newspapers, magazines, television news programs, etc.

: the activity or business of getting people to give attention to someone or something


pub·lic·i·ty | \ˌpə-ˈbli-sə-tē \

Kids Definition of publicity

1 : attention that is given to someone or something by the media

2 : something that attracts the interest of the public His appearance on TV was good publicity.

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Comments on publicity

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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