public works

noun
structures, as roads, dams, or post offices, paid for by government funds for public use.

Origin:
1670–80

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World English Dictionary
public works
 
pl n
engineering projects and other constructions, financed and undertaken by a government for the community

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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

public works definition


Public facilities and improvements financed by the government for the public good. Public works include hospitals, bridges, highways, and dams. These projects may be funded by local, state, or federal appropriations. (See also pork-barrel legislation.)

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
The magnificence and splendor of their public works are among the imperishable
  glories of the ancient republics.
Monumental and monochromatic public works had risen on the trampled foundations
  of prerevolutionary pastel palaces.
Infrastructure is a fancy contemporary term for what used to be known as public
  works.
So a wiser approach to public works is slowly taking shape.
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