the public domain

Definition of the public domain

  1. 1 :  the state of something that is not owned by a particular person or company and is available for anyone to use The software has entered the public domain. The software is in the public domain.

  2. 2 US :  land that is owned by the government The forests are part of the public domain.

Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  exposed to general view :  open

    :  well-known, prominent

    :  perceptible, material

  1. :  the people as a whole :  populace

    :  a group of people having common interests or characteristics

    :  the group at which a particular activity or enterprise aims

  1. :  complete and absolute (see absolute 3) ownership of land — compare eminent domain

    :  land so owned

    :  a territory over which dominion (see dominion 2) is exercised

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