pub·​lic·​i·​ty | \ (ˌ)pə-ˈbli-sə-tē How to pronounce publicity (audio) , -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

Martin was charged with criminal mischief and unlawful posting of criminal activity for notoriety and publicity, jail records show, and he was held on bond over the weekend., "Blue Bell ice cream licker inspires copycats," 8 July 2019 Amid the sudden and growing publicity, Price called in additional resources., "A Mouseketeer mystery: Dennis Day’s extraordinary life and heartbreaking death," 6 July 2019 One is the request for a change of venue because of pretrial publicity, something legal experts say is rarely granted by federal courts. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Rep. Hunter’s attorney won’t put other congressional behavior on trial," 3 July 2019 After two years of experimentation, reworking, and national publicity, the numbers did climb, but only to 30 trips per day. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Transit Agencies Turn to Uber for the Last Mile," 29 June 2019 Air travel is still safer than any other means of transportation, but the public’s fears about it, along with the wide and harrowing publicity that results from even a single crash, can doom a plane’s reputation forever. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Boeing Won’t Rename the 737 MAX," 26 June 2019 Poole ultimately was cleared of impropriety in connection with the 2013 incident — after he was subjected to a buzz saw of negative national publicity, death threats, a university investigation, concern from then-Gov. Anthony Man,, "FAU instructor who taught ‘stomp on Jesus’ lesson is a South Florida candidate in 2020 election," 14 June 2019 The parties involved needed to coordinate before revealing the late-summer event, and most of them seemingly decided the bad publicity would be worth the profit. John Wenzel, The Know, "Commentary: Chris Brown headlining Summer Jam is a stain on Denver," 13 June 2019 Ford might have been in some profession for which publicity is a benefit. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "What Do Women Have to Do to Be Believed?," 20 Sep. 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

11 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce publicity (audio) \

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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