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.

1785–95; < French publicité < Medieval Latin pūblicitās. See public, -ity

nonpublicity, noun
overpublicity, noun
propublicity, adjective
superpublicity, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
publicity (pʌˈblɪsɪtɪ)
1.  a.  the technique or process of attracting public attention to people, products, etc, as by the use of the mass media
 b.  (as modifier): a publicity agent
2.  public interest resulting from information supplied by such a technique or process
3.  information used to draw public attention to people, products, etc
4.  the state of being public
[C18: via French from Medieval Latin pūblicitās; see public]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1791, "condition of being public," from Fr. publicité (1694), from M.L. publicitatem (nom. publicitas), from L. publicus (see public). Sense of "making something known, advertising" is from 1826. Publicity stunt first recorded 1926. Publicize first recorded 1928. Publicist
(1792) is from Fr., originally "writer on current topics;" meaning "press agent" is from 1930.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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