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public utility

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).
Usually, public utilities. stocks or bonds of public-utility companies, excluding railroads.
Origin of public utility
Related forms
public-utility, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for public-utility
Historical Examples
  • As a class they yield more than government or municipal bonds, and less than public-utility or industrial bonds.

    How to Invest Money George Garr Henry
  • The term "public-utility company" denotes a private corporation supplying public needs under authority of a public franchise.

    How to Invest Money George Garr Henry
  • public-utility companies include street-railway, gas, electric-light and power, and water companies.

    How to Invest Money George Garr Henry
  • In general, it is certainly more difficult to dispose of public-utility bonds than railroad bonds.

    How to Invest Money George Garr Henry
  • They form a class quite distinct from railroad bonds or public-utility bonds.

    How to Invest Money George Garr Henry
  • In regard to the former, it may be said at once that public-utility bonds do not meet the necessary conditions.

    How to Invest Money George Garr Henry
  • public-utility organizations and government departments were growing complex and extensive.

    Time Telling through the Ages Harry Chase Brearley
British Dictionary definitions for public-utility

public utility

an enterprise concerned with the provision to the public of essentials, such as electricity or water Also called (US) public-service corporation
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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public-utility in Culture

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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Difficulty index for public utility

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for public

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