What does Public mean?

Definitions for Public
ˈpʌb lɪkPub·lic

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word Public.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. populace, public, worldnoun

    people in general considered as a whole

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

  2. publicadjective

    a body of people sharing some common interest

    "the reading public"

  3. publicadjective

    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. publicadjective

    affecting the people or community as a whole

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


  1. publicnoun

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

    Members of the public may not proceed beyond this point.

  2. publicadjective

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

  3. publicadjective

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

  4. publicadjective

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

  5. publicadjective

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

  6. publicadjective

    Traded publicly via a stock market.

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

Webster Dictionary

  1. Publicadjective

    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. Publicadjective

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

  3. Publicadjective

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

  4. Publicnoun

    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. Publicnoun

    a public house; an inn

  6. Etymology: [L. publicus, poblicus, fr. populus people: cf. F. public. See People.]


  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.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Public

    pub′lik, adj. of or belonging to the people: pertaining to a community or a nation: general: common to or shared in by all: generally known.—n. the people: the general body of mankind: the people, indefinitely: a public-house, tavern.—ns. Pub′lican, the keeper of an inn or public-house: (orig.) a farmer-general of the Roman taxes: a tax-collector; Publicā′tion, the act of publishing or making public: a proclamation: the act of printing and sending out for sale, as a book: that which is published as a book, &c.—ns.pl. Pub′lic-bills, -laws, &c., bills, laws, &c. which concern the interests of the whole people; Pub′lic-funds, money lent to government for which interest is paid of a stated amount at a stated time.—ns. Pub′lic-house, a house open to the public: one chiefly used for selling beer and other liquors: an inn or tavern; Pub′lic-institū′tion, an institution kept up by public funds for the public use, as an educational or charitable foundation; Pub′licist, one who writes on or is skilled in public law, or on current political topics; Public′ity, the state of being public or open to the knowledge of all: notoriety; Pub′lic-law (see International).—adv. Pub′licly.—adjs. Pub′lic-mind′ed, -spir′ited, having a spirit actuated by regard to the public interest: with a regard to the public interest.—ns. Pub′licness; Pub′lic-opin′ion, the view which the people of a district or county take of any question of public interest; Pub′lic-pol′icy, the main principles or spirit upon which the law of a country is constructed; Pub′lic-spir′it, a strong desire and effort to work on behalf of the public interest.—adv. Pub′lic-spir′itedly.—n. Pub′lic-spir′itedness.—n.pl. Pub′lic-works, permanent works or improvements made for public use or benefit.—Public health, the department in any government, municipality, &c. which superintends sanitation; Public holiday, a general holiday ordained by parliament; Public lands, lands belonging to government, esp. such as are open to sale, grant, &c.; Public orator, an officer of English universities who is the voice of the Senate upon all public occasions; Public school (see School).—In public, in open view. [Fr.,—L. publicuspopulus, the people.]

Editors Contribution

  1. public

    Accessible to people.

    Members of the public can choose to either have their online profiles public or private.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 24, 2020  
  2. public

    The population of a country.

    The public have a right to have a say in the running of their country - democracy is a form of power to the people i.e. the public.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 5, 2020  

Matched Categories

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

How to pronounce Public?

How to say Public in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of Public in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of Public in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of Public in a Sentence

  1. Janet Yellen:

    In the 1970s, a series of supply shocks became a longer run problem... that partly occurred because policy makers weren't trusted by the public to deal effectively with inflation.

  2. Robert Leahy:

    Even when there's not a pandemic we, as a species, tend to make decisions that negatively affect our public health based on our immediate need, whether it's smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, overeating, overspending... we are wired to look for immediate gratification. Remember, we were once scavengers. That's why this is very hard.

  3. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley:

    I am hopeful and confident that very capable public servants with a desire to serve in the Senate will step up as candidates for this important office, i will not be one of them.

  4. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson:

    There will be enhanced security there, but public vigilance, public awareness and public caution in situations like this is particularly important, and it's the environment we're in, frankly.

  5. Nicholas McQuire:

    Andy Jassy understands the importance of trust in the brand, andy Jassy's willing to kind of pull the veil up a little bit on how Amazon operates that the wider public doesn't know, for example, how they treat Amazon.com as a customer... That importance of trust, Andy Jassy understands that from the big deals Andy Jassy's done.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


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    easily diffused or spread as from one person to another
    • A. ravening
    • B. proprietary
    • C. contagious
    • D. arbitrary

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