- The definition of public is something that is related to, available to or known by people.
- Joining the school board is an example of public service.
- A celebrity known by everyone is an example of a public figure.
- A park that is open to everyone is an example of a public park.
- Public is ordinary people or people within a community.
All of the people in a given location are an example of the public.
- of, belonging to, or concerning the people as a whole; of or by the community at large: the public welfare, a public outcry
- for the use or benefit of all; esp., supported by government funds: a public park
- as regards community, rather than private, affairs
- acting in an official capacity on behalf of the people as a whole: a public prosecutor
- known by, or open to the knowledge of, all or most people: to make information public, a public figure
- Finance owned by shareholders whose shares can be freely traded, as on an exchange: a public company
Origin of publicMiddle English ; from Classical Latin publicus: altered (prob. influenced, influence by pubes, adult) ; from poplicus, contr. of populicus, public ; from populus, the people
- the people as a whole; community at large
- a specific part of the people; those people considered together because of some common interest or purpose: the reading public
- to become a publicly owned company by issuing shares for sale to the public
- to reveal something previously kept private or secret to the public
- Of, concerning, or affecting the community or the people: the public good.
- Maintained for or used by the people or community: a public park.
- Capitalized in shares of stock that can be traded on the open market: a public company; took the company public.
- Participated in or attended by the people or community: “Opinions are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate” (Hannah Arendt).
- Connected with or acting on behalf of the people, community, or government: public office.
- Enrolled in or attending a public school: transit passes for public students.
- Open to the knowledge or judgment of all: a public scandal.
- The community or the people as a whole.
- A group of people sharing a common interest: the reading public.
- Admirers or followers, especially of a famous person. See Usage Note at collective noun.
Origin of publicMiddle English publik, from Old French public, from Latin pūblicus, alteration (influenced by pūbēs, adult population) of poplicus, from populus, people, of Etruscan origin.
(comparative more public, superlative most public)
- Able to be seen or known by everyone; open to general view, happening without concealment. [from 14th c.]
- Pertaining to all the people as a whole (as opposed a private group); concerning the whole country, community etc. [from 15th c.]
- Officially representing the community; carried out or funded by the state on behalf of the community. [from 15th c.]
- Open to all members of a community; especially, provided by national or local authorities and supported by money from taxes. [from 15th c.]
- (of a company) Traded publicly via a stock market.
terms etymologically related to public