Definitions for publicˈpʌb lɪk

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word public

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

pub•licˈpʌb lɪk(adj.)

  1. of, pertaining to, or affecting a population or a community as a whole:

    a public nuisance.

  2. done, made, acting, etc., for the community as a whole:

    public prosecution.

  3. open to all persons:

    a public meeting.

  4. of, pertaining to, or being in the service of a community or nation:

    a public official.

    Category: Government

  5. maintained at the public expense and under public control:

    a public library.

  6. generally known:

    The fact became public.

  7. familiar to the public; prominent:

    public figures.

  8. open to the view of all; existing or conducted in public:

    a public dispute.

  9. pertaining or devoted to the welfare or well-being of the community:

    public spirit.

  10. of or pertaining to all humankind; universal.

  11. (n.)the people constituting a community, state, or nation.

  12. a particular group of people with a common interest, aim, etc.:

    the book-buying public.

Idioms for public:

  1. go public, to issue stock for sale to the general public. to present previously concealed information to the public.

    Category: Idiom

  2. in public,in a situation open to public notice, view, or access; publicly:

    to quarrel in public.

    Category: Idiom

  3. make public,to cause to become known generally, as through the news media.

    Category: Idiom

Origin of public:

1400–50; late ME publique (< MF) < L pūblicus


Princeton's WordNet

  1. populace, public, world(noun)

    people in general considered as a whole

    "he is a hero in the eyes of the public"

  2. public(adj)

    a body of people sharing some common interest

    "the reading public"

  3. public(adj)

    not private; open to or concerning the people as a whole

    "the public good"; "public libraries"; "public funds"; "public parks"; "a public scandal"; "public gardens"; "performers and members of royal families are public figures"

  4. public(adj)

    affecting the people or community as a whole

    "community leaders"; "community interests"; "the public welfare"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. public(adjective)ˈpʌb lɪk

    ≠ private

    public buildings/parks/telephones; the public library; a public meeting; The information is public.; The government is making the report public today.

  2. publicˈpʌb lɪk

    involving or affecting all people

    a public health threat; public safety; public knowledge of the issue

  3. publicˈpʌb lɪk

    ≠ private

    public policy; public funding

  4. publicˈpʌb lɪk

    ≠ private

    people kissing in public places

  5. publicˈpʌb lɪk

    to make information public

    They went public with the report two months ago.

  6. publicˈpʌb lɪk

    to begin to trade a company's stock in the stock markets

    When does the company intend to go public?

  7. publicˈpʌb lɪk

    in a place or situation that allows anyone to see or know about you

    movie stars living life in the public eye

  8. publicˈpʌb lɪk

    ≠ in private

    He took off his clothes in public.


  1. public(Noun)

    The people in general, regardless of membership of any particular group.

    Members of the public may not proceed beyond this point.

  2. public(Adjective)

    Able to be seen or known by everyone; open to general view, happening without concealment.

  3. public(Adjective)

    Pertaining to all the people as a whole (as opposed a private group); concerning the whole country, community etc.

  4. public(Adjective)

    Officially representing the community; carried out or funded by the state on behalf of the community.

  5. public(Adjective)

    Open to all members of a community; especially, provided by national or local authorities and supported by money from taxes.

  6. public(Adjective)

    Traded publicly via a stock market.

  7. Origin: From publik, public, public, publique et al., and their source, publicus, alteration (probably after pubes) of populicus, from populus. Compare people.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Public(adj)

    of or pertaining to the people; belonging to the people; relating to, or affecting, a nation, state, or community; -- opposed to private; as, the public treasury

  2. Public(adj)

    open to the knowledge or view of all; general; common; notorious; as, public report; public scandal

  3. Public(adj)

    open to common or general use; as, a public road; a public house

  4. Public(noun)

    the general body of mankind, or of a nation, state, or community; the people, indefinitely; as, the American public; also, a particular body or aggregation of people; as, an author's public

  5. Public(noun)

    a public house; an inn


  1. Public

    In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public is the totality of such groupings. This is a different concept to the sociological concept of the Öffentlichkeit or public sphere. The concept of a public has also been defined in political science, psychology, marketing, and advertising. In public relations and communication science, it is one of the more ambiguous concepts in the field. Although it has definitions in the theory of the field that have been formulated from the early 20th century onwards, it has suffered in more recent years from being blurred, as a result of conflation of the idea of a public with the notions of audience, market segment, community, constituency, and stakeholder. The name "public" originates with the Latin "populus" or "poplicus", and in general denotes some mass population in association with some matter of common interest. So in political science and history, a public is a population of individuals in association with civic affairs, or affairs of office or state. In social psychology, marketing, and public relations, a public has a more situational definition. John Dewey defined a public as a group of people who, in facing a similar problem, recognize it and organize themselves to address it. Dewey's definition of a public is thus situational: people organized about a situation. Built upon this situational definition of a public is the situational theory of publics by James E. Grunig, which talks of nonpublics, latent publics, aware publics, and active publics.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'public' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #286

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'public' in Written Corpus Frequency: #806

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'public' in Nouns Frequency: #470

  4. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'public' in Adjectives Frequency: #29

Translations for public

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


of, for, or concerning, the people (of a community or nation) in general

a public library; a public meeting; Public opinion turned against him; The public announcements are on the back page of the newspaper; This information should be made public and not kept secret any longer.

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