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public

[puhb-lik] /ˈpʌb lɪk/
adjective
1.
of, pertaining to, or affecting a population or a community as a whole:
public funds; a public nuisance.
2.
done, made, acting, etc., for the community as a whole:
public prosecution.
3.
open to all persons:
a public meeting.
4.
of, pertaining to, or being in the service of a community or nation, especially as a government officer:
a public official.
5.
maintained at the public expense and under public control:
a public library; a public road.
6.
generally known:
The fact became public.
7.
familiar to the public; prominent:
public figures.
8.
open to the view of all; existing or conducted in public:
a public dispute.
9.
pertaining or devoted to the welfare or well-being of the community:
public spirit.
10.
of or pertaining to all humankind; universal.
noun
11.
the people constituting a community, state, or nation.
12.
a particular group of people with a common interest, aim, etc.:
the book-buying public.
13.
British Informal. a tavern; public house.
Idioms
14.
go public,
  1. to issue stock for sale to the general public.
  2. to present private or previously concealed information, news, etc., to the public; make matters open to public view:
    The senator threatened to go public with his congressional-reform plan.
15.
in public, not in private; in a situation open to public view or access; publicly:
It was the first time that she had sung in public.
16.
make public, to cause to become known generally, as through the news media:
Her resignation was made public this morning.
Origin
1400-1450
1400-50; < Latin pūblicus (earlier pōblicus, pōplicus, akin to populus people); replacing late Middle English publique < Middle French < Latin, as above
Related forms
nonpublic, adjective
quasi-public, adjective
quasi-publicly, adverb
unpublic, adjective
unpublicly, adverb
Can be confused
pubic, public.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for public
  • Crowds of people are often seen as bad for public order.
  • But naturists argue that, as a part of the taxpaying community, some public space should be set aside for them.
  • All along the way it's going to be informed by experts in the area as well as the general public.
  • My work experience includes two large public universities, two small private colleges, and one community college.
  • The idea was to let the general public know, somehow, what is happening.
  • The people is a political term, not to be confused with the public.
  • The site allows people to keep clippings private, share them with specific people, or offer them to the public.
  • The origin of the irony is that the subject of the article is how scientists should talk to the general public.
  • There comes a time in the career of many historians when they yearn for contact with the general reading public.
  • Readers' experiences with transportation alternatives point the way to a more efficient and healthier future for public transit.
British Dictionary definitions for public

public

/ˈpʌblɪk/
adjective
1.
of, relating to, or concerning the people as a whole
2.
open or accessible to all public gardens
3.
performed or made openly or in the view of all public proclamation
4.
(prenominal) well-known or familiar to people in general a public figure
5.
(usually prenominal) maintained at the expense of, serving, or for the use of a community a public library
6.
open, acknowledged, or notorious a public scandal
7.
go public
  1. (of a private company) to issue shares for subscription by the public
  2. to reveal publicly hitherto confidential information
noun
8.
the community or people in general
9.
a part or section of the community grouped because of a common interest, activity, etc the racing public
Word Origin
C15: from Latin pūblicus, changed from pōplicus of the people, from populus people
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for public
adj.

late 14c., "open to general observation," from Old French public (c.1300) and directly from Latin publicus "of the people; of the state; done for the state," also "common, general, public; ordinary, vulgar," and as a noun, "a commonwealth; public property," altered (probably by influence of Latin pubes "adult population, adult") from Old Latin poplicus "pertaining to the people," from populus "people" (see people (n.)).

Early 15c. as "pertaining to the people." From late 15c. as "pertaining to public affairs;" meaning "open to all in the community" is from 1540s in English. An Old English adjective in this sense was folclic. Public relations first recorded 1913 (after an isolated use by Thomas Jefferson in 1807).

Public office "position held by a public official" is from 1821; public service is from 1570s; public interest from 1670s. Public-spirited is from 1670s. Public enemy is attested from 1756. Public sector attested from 1949.

Public school is from 1570s, originally, in Britain, a grammar school endowed for the benefit of the public, but most have evolved into boarding-schools for the well-to-do. The main modern meaning in U.S., "school (usually free) provided at public expense and run by local authorities," is attested from 1640s. For public house, see pub.

n.

"the community," 1610s, from public (adj.); meaning "people in general" is from 1660s. In public "in public view, publicly" is attested from c.1500.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with public
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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