public

adjective
pub·​lic | \ ˈpə-blik How to pronounce public (audio) \

Definition of public

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : exposed to general view : open
2a : of, relating to, or affecting all the people or the whole area of a nation or state public law
b : of or relating to a government
c : of, relating to, or being in the service of the community or nation
3a : of or relating to people in general : universal
b : of, by, for, or directed to the public (see public entry 2 sense 2) : popular in the public eye a campaign to raise public awareness of the issue He's certainly aware that public opinion has soured on him this year …— Bryan Rolli
4 : of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs : social
5 : devoted to the general or national welfare : humanitarian
6a : accessible to or shared by all members of the community
b : capitalized in shares that can be freely traded on the open market often used with go
7 : supported by public funds and private contributions rather than by income from commercials public radio public television

public

noun
plural publics

Definition of public (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place accessible or visible to the public usually used in the phrase in public
2 : the people as a whole : populace
3 : a group of people having common interests or characteristics specifically : the group at which a particular activity or enterprise aims

Other Words from public

Adjective

publicness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for public

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of public in a Sentence

Adjective Public outrage over the scandal eventually forced him to resign. The ads are intended to increase public awareness of the risks of smoking. She was elected to a public office. He was in Congress for many years but he recently retired from public life. They decided on a nearby restaurant as a convenient public place to meet. The government has allowed public access to the documents. The city council is holding a public meeting. This will be her first public performance in five years. Her trial will be public. Noun The beach is open to the public. The general public is in favor of the law. Members of the public called for the mayor's resignation. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Yes, this is public transportation — some would say a means of travel, as opposed to a destination. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 6 May 2022 Available jobs paid a pittance — about 30,000 pounds a day, or slightly more than a dollar at the current black market rate, most of which went to public transportation to get to and from work. Washington Post, 6 May 2022 In other words, microtransit is meant to complement traditional public transportation by helping people get to and from bus and train stops. Kaitlyn Bancroft, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 May 2022 An order by the CDC to wear masks on public transportation was halted by a federal judge last month, but the agency still recommends people wear good face masks, especially for those who are at higher risk or unvaccinated. Meredith Cohn, Baltimore Sun, 4 May 2022 The shifts are subtle but pervasive, affecting everything from cemeteries, parking, and waste management to zoning, public transportation, and school lunch. Nick Romeo, The New Yorker, 4 May 2022 Beijing closed parts of its public transportation system on Wednesday to limit movement in the city as authorities continue to find dozens of new COVID cases a day. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 4 May 2022 Many Americans remain uncomfortable over the repeal of the public transportation mask mandate. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Forbes, 4 May 2022 And will other fans gravitate toward public transportation in greater numbers than in the past? San Diego Union-Tribune, 3 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The violence polarized the city, cementing the breakdown in trust between the public and the authorities. Jessie Yeung, CNN, 7 May 2022 The volunteers picked up garbage mainly along the city’s main roads, gathering trash on public and some residential properties, as well as around the City Hall complex. cleveland, 5 May 2022 The alerts, which are disseminated to the public and the press via cellphones, billboards, news organizations and social media, include children’s photos, descriptions and information about when and where they were last seen. Gina Barton, jsonline.com, 3 May 2022 The alerts, which are disseminated to the public and the press via cellphones, billboards, news organizations and social media, include children’s photos, descriptions and information about when and where they were last seen. Gina Barton, USA Today, 3 May 2022 Many of the questions posed by members of the public and Anchorage Assembly leadership boiled down to one central concern. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, 3 May 2022 The self-regulatory body cautioned against conduct that could cause investors, companies, regulators, the general public or the media to have a negative view of securities firms or trigger instability in the market or society. Rebecca Feng, WSJ, 3 May 2022 They power trucks, trains, boats and barges, many public and school buses, heavy farm and construction equipment, military vehicles, and generators for making backup electricity. Steven Savage, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Saving certain parasites—and, in turn, preserving their roles in nature—will depend on convincing policy makers, the public and a wider community of scientists that protecting them is worthwhile. Rachel Nuwer, Scientific American, 28 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of public

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for public

Adjective

Middle English publique, from Anglo-French, from Latin publicus; akin to Latin populus people

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Time Traveler for public

Time Traveler

The first known use of public was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near public

publ

public

public access

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Statistics for public

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Public.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/public. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for public

public

adjective
pub·​lic | \ ˈpə-blik How to pronounce public (audio) \

Kids Definition of public

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : open to all a public library
2 : of or relating to the people as a whole public opinion
3 : known to many people : not kept secret The story became public.
4 : of, relating to, or working for a government or community a public prosecutor My uncle holds public office.
5 : well-known, prominent public figures

Other Words from public

publicly adverb

public

noun

Kids Definition of public (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the people as a whole The sale is open to the public.
2 : a group of people having common interests The author is adored by her public.

public

adjective
pub·​lic

Legal Definition of public

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : exposed to general view public indecency
b : known or recognized by many or most people
2a : of, relating to, or affecting all of the people or the whole area of a nation or state public statutes
b : of or relating to a government : authorized by, administered by, or acting for the people as a political entity public expenditures the public prosecutor
c : of, relating to, or being in the service of the community or nation holding public office
d : provided for, used by, or containing the records of a government agency the post office and other public buildings
3 : of or relating to people in general
4 : of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs public policy
5 : devoted to the general or national welfare
6 : accessible to or shared by all members of the community a public hearing — compare private
7 : capitalized in shares that can be freely traded on the open market often used with go

Other Words from public

publicly adverb

public

noun

Legal Definition of public (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a place accessible or visible to the public usually used in the phrase in public
2 : the people as a whole

More from Merriam-Webster on public

Nglish: Translation of public for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of public for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about public

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