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, puffery

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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

Karen Barragan, the vice president of publicity for original series, asked how many other people felt that way. Joe Flint, WSJ, "At Netflix, Radical Transparency and Blunt Firings Unsettle the Ranks," 25 Oct. 2018 Donald Trump’s signature skill — drumming up publicity for the Trump brand — would sit this one out. Susanne Craig, The Seattle Times, "Trump engaged in suspect tax schemes as he reaped riches from father," 2 Oct. 2018 The books were major best-sellers, and the movie has already gotten huge amounts of publicity for being the first major Hollywood release with an all-Asian cast in a staggering 25 years. Aja Romano, Vox, "Crazy Rich Asians’ mid-credits scene is brief, but very revealing," 18 Aug. 2018 Calculating the economic impact of sporting trophies is hard, but there can be little doubt that a victory could be worth more in terms of positive publicity for Croatia than years of splurging on global PR campaigns. The Economist, "Croatia stands on the cusp of World Cup victory," 13 July 2018 The faux pas, which was subsequently corrected, generated even more publicity for the Diclegis pill, and by the fall of 2015, sales jumped 21 percent to nearly $41.7 million, according to data from IQVIA, a market research firm. Ed Silverman, STAT, "A drug maker paid Kim Kardashian $500,000 for a few social media posts. Were they worth it?," 10 July 2018 Other countries typically have sports ministries and government organizations that run the Olympics, which often lead to the cost overruns and wasteful infrastructure that have caused so much bad publicity for the IOC. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Will LA’s ‘no-build’ Olympics spur Southern California’s next building boom?," 10 July 2018 But the mounted unit holds a cherished spot in the city’s history, and its revival could offer bragging rights, civic pride, and favorable publicity for the business leaders who pull it off. Jon Chesto,, "Groups split over whether to revive Boston’s mounted police unit," 6 July 2018 In early July 1992, Paramount decided to drum up publicity for its PG-13 animated/live action hybrid film Cool World by placing a likeness of Kim Basinger's cartoon character on top of the iconic Hollywood sign for one week. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "When Paramount's 75-Foot Hollywood Sign Stunt Pushed Locals Too Far," 5 July 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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Statistics for publicity

Last Updated

28 Nov 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).


to enclose within walls

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