• IPA: /ˈpʌblɪk/


  1. Able to be seen or known by everyone; open to general view, happening without concealment. [from 14th c.]
  2. Pertaining to the people as a whole (as opposed to a private group); concerning the whole country, community etc. [from 15th c.]
    • 2010, Adam Vaughan, The Guardian, 16 Sep 2010:
      A mere 3% of the more than 1,000 people interviewed said they actually knew what the conference was about. It seems safe to say public awareness of the Convention on Biological Awareness in Nagoya - and its goal of safeguarding wildlife - is close to non-existent.
  3. Officially representing the community; carried out or funded by the state on behalf of the community. [from 15th c.]
    • 2004, The Guardian, Leader, 18 Jun 2004:
      But culture's total budget is a tiny proportion of all public spending; it is one of the government's most visible success stories.
  4. Open to all members of a community; especially, provided by national or local authorities and supported by money from taxes. [from 15th c.]
    • 2011, David Smith, The Guardian, 10 May 2011:
      Some are left for dead on rubbish tips, in refuge bags or at public toilets.
  5. (of a company) Traded publicly via a stock market.
  6. (not comparable, object-oriented programming) Accessible to the program in general, not only to the class or any subclasses.
Antonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations Translations Noun

public (uncountable)

  1. The people in general, regardless of membership of any particular group.
    Members of the public may not proceed beyond this point.
    • 2007 May 4, Martin Jacques, The Guardian
      Bush and Blair stand condemned by their own publics and face imminent political extinction.
  2. (archaic) A public house; an inn.

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