Definition of publican in English:

publican

Syllabification: pub·li·can
Pronunciation: /ˈpəblikən
 
/

noun

  • 1British A person who owns or manages a pub.
    More example sentences
    • Food was not high on your average publican's agenda, nor was it high priority for his customers.
    • With the party season approaching, publicans, hoteliers and restaurateurs are anxious to win back custom from locals and tourists by softening the area's rowdy image.
    • Police officers, hoteliers, shopkeepers and publicans are also among those asked to brush up on their knowledge of Scotland's most famous poet.
  • 2(In ancient Roman and biblical times) a collector of taxes.
    More example sentences
    • He is the same as He was when He received Mary Magdalene - called Matthew the publican - brought Zacchaeus down from the tree, and made them examples of what His grace could do.
    • Friend of publicans and sinners, you make the angels laugh and heaven rejoice.
    • Obviously, Paul is talking about sinners if they are not saved while Jesus is talking about those publicans and harlots that believed in him.

Origin

Middle English (sense 2): from Old French publicain, from Latin publicanus, from publicum 'public revenue', neuter (used as a noun) of publicus 'of the people'. sense 1 dates from the early 18th century.

More definitions of publican

Definition of publican in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
noun
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space