- in ancient Rome, a collector of public revenues, tolls, etc.
- Brit. a saloonkeeper
Origin of publicanMiddle English from Classical Latin publicanus from publicus: see public
- Chiefly British The keeper of a public house or tavern.
- A collector of public taxes or tolls in the ancient Roman Empire.
- A collector of taxes or tribute from the public.
Origin of publicanMiddle English tax collector from Old French from Latin pūblicānus from pūblicum public revenue from neuter of pūblicus public ; see public .