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

By digging into day-by-day and week-by-week itineraries, our biographer demands our admiration for Crosby’s unflagging efforts, often with little concern for personal rewards or favorable publicity. Ted Gioia, WSJ, "‘Bing Crosby’ Review: Nothin’ but Blue Skies," 8 Nov. 2018 After high school, Sophie worked in publicity at Capital Radio and later at the firm Brian MacLaurin before starting her own PR business, R-JH, reports the BBC. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Who Is Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, Queen Elizabeth's Daughter-in-Law?," 17 Aug. 2018 At the time, the decision was a searing blow to Impossible Foods, which up until then had fired up the appetites of investors and top chefs alike and savored glowing publicity. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Impossible Burgers’ key, bloody ingredient gets long awaited nod from FDA," 24 July 2018 But it also was done quietly, so as not to annoy the Chinese government, which detests publicity about human rights cases. New York Times, "How Germany Won Freedom for the Widow of China’s Most Famous Dissident," 11 July 2018 And so, BrainStorm saw right-to-try as a way to gin up some publicity. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "ALS drug maker walks back plan to profit from right-to-try law following heavy criticism," 26 June 2018 At the same time, though, Van Dyke’s attorneys have poured significant resources into their bid to move the trial elsewhere because of the case’s enormous publicity and repercussions. Megan Crepeau,, "Key decision awaits Officer Van Dyke as judge pushes for summer trial: Bench or jury?," 27 June 2018 Eventually she was promoted to national media publicity and marketing manager. Justino Aguila, Billboard, "TV Vet Clara Pablo Joins Walter Kolm Entertainment as SVP Marketing," 21 June 2018 An attorney for Make Him Smile, a company founded and run by Farley's family to protect his publicity and property rights, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday. Fox News, "Chris Farley family settles lawsuit over bike name," 6 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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Statistics for publicity

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for publicity

The first known use of publicity was in 1609

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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

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a private place of worship

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