Bow bridge in Central park on a sunny spring day, New York City
- 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: often preceded by the
- 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.
- The people in general, regardless of membership of any particular group.
- Members of the public may not proceed beyond this point.
- (archaic) A public house; an inn.