public utility

noun
1.
a business enterprise, as a public-service corporation, performing an essential public service and regulated by the federal, state, or local government. Compare utility ( def 3 ).
2.
Usually, public utilities. stocks or bonds of public-utility companies, excluding railroads.

Origin:
1900–05

public-utility, adjective
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Collins
World English Dictionary
public utility
 
n
Also called (US): public-service corporation an enterprise concerned with the provision to the public of essentials, such as electricity or water

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

public utility definition


A private company supplying water, gas, electricity, telephone service, or the like, which is granted a monopoly by the government and then regulated by the government.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
But the electricity does not come from public utility lines.
Imagine yourself, for example, in the plight of a well-intentioned manager of a public utility.
Another difficulty was to overcome the prejudice against running a public utility as a business.
Electric power prices would still come under the eyes of public utility commissions.
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