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[puh-blis-i-tee] /pʌˈblɪs ɪ ti/
extensive mention in the news media or by word of mouth or other means of communication.
public notice so gained.
the measures, process, or business of securing public notice.
information, articles, or advertisements issued to secure public notice or attention.
the state of being public, or open to general observation or knowledge.
Origin of publicity
1785-95; < French publicité < Medieval Latin pūblicitās. See public, -ity
Related forms
nonpublicity, noun
overpublicity, noun
propublicity, adjective
superpublicity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for publicity
  • Even bad publicity is publicity and amounts to more sales.
  • Wal-Mart's critics dismiss the move as a publicity stunt.
  • Glad to see these familiar guys are getting publicity.
  • It started as a publicity stunt, but now the bloom is off the rose.
  • Guest accompanying the winner must sign the liability and publicity release described below.
  • It seems only reasonable that there would be some type of publicity for this milestone.
  • The publicity would get you contracts all over the place.
  • More photos from the extravagant publicity stunt are below.
  • Churches that practice serpent handling tend to be wary of publicity.
  • He also doesn't think a right of publicity was breached.
British Dictionary definitions for publicity


  1. the technique or process of attracting public attention to people, products, etc, as by the use of the mass media
  2. (as modifier): a publicity agent
public interest resulting from information supplied by such a technique or process
information used to draw public attention to people, products, etc
the state of being public
Word Origin
C18: via French from Medieval Latin pūblicitās; see public
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 publicity

1791, "condition of being public," from French publicité (1690s), from Medieval Latin publicitatem (nominative publicitas), from Latin publicus (see public (adj.)). Sense of "a making (something) known, an exposure to the public" is from 1826, shading by c.1900 into "advertising, business of promotion." Publicity stunt first recorded 1908.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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