the public domain


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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web In 2021, the novel entered the public domain, spurring speculation as to whether an onslaught of adaptions would ensue as a result. Annie Goldsmith, Town & Country, 22 Feb. 2023 Currently the company is only training its AI using game content that is in the public domain. WIRED, 17 Feb. 2023 When something falls into the public domain, interesting things can happen. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, 16 Feb. 2023 Last year the copyright protection on British author A.A. Milne’s most famous creations ran out, releasing — or perhaps condemning — them to the public domain. Dennis Harvey, Variety, 16 Feb. 2023

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'the public domain.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Dictionary Entries Near the public domain

Cite this Entry

“The public domain.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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