Definition of public in English:


Line breaks: pub¦lic
Pronunciation: /ˈpʌblɪk


  • 2Done, perceived, or existing in open view: he wanted a public apology in the Wall Street Journal we should talk somewhere less public
    More example sentences
    • He seems to have a strategy, but it is one that he does not seem to have laid open for public view and debate.
    • Which soap actor made a public apology for exposing himself on the internet?
    • It is the attempt to exclude such views from acceptable public discourse that is anti-democratic.
    known, widely known, overt, plain, obvious, in circulation, published, publicized, exposed
  • 4British Of, for, or acting for a university: public examination results
    More example sentences
    • In fact public universities, as a result, have had to raise their tuitions dramatically.
    • In the public universities the government is planning to impose fees on students.
    • Like most public institutions the university has not escaped the effects of neo-liberalism.


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go public

  • 1Become a public company: the company’s share price has nearly quadrupled since it went public
    More example sentences
    • And not only are more money-losing companies going public, initial valuations can be distinctly frothy.
    • For others, it means going public and answering to shareholders.
    • There is the potential to grow rapidly, and if you do, getting bought out or going public are distinct possibilities.
  • 2Reveal details about a previously private concern: Bates went public with the news at a press conference
    More example sentences
    • Over the past few days, since I went public with my complaints concerning the casino, I have been swamped with phone calls regarding the actions I took.
    • Coalition MPs were briefed at a special meeting called just before the Prime Minister went public with his plans to strengthen counter-terrorism laws.
    • And people are wondering why I went public with this!

in public

In view of other people; when others are present: men don’t cry in public
More example sentences
  • You expect to be ticked off from time to time if you venture your views in public.
  • So we were not used to seeing strong men crying in public, and not at all sure how to react when we did.
  • He is not seen much in public these days and his views on the situation are not known.
publicly, in full view of people/the public, openly, in the open, for all to see, undisguisedly, blatantly, flagrantly, brazenly, with no attempt at concealment, overtly, boldly, audaciously, unashamedly, shamelessly, unabashed, wantonly, immodestly; Latin coram populo

the public eye

The state of being known or of interest to people in general, especially through the media: the pressures of being constantly in the public eye
More example sentences
  • You don't have to be a politician or a person in the public eye to gain media attention.
  • She urged celebrities and people in the public eye not to wear fur as this can lead to fashion trends being set.
  • But it is time now to draw back from treating him as a public spectacle and let him fight his demons out of the public eye.
the spotlight, the limelight, the glare of publicity, prominence; the focus of interest, the focus of attention


late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin publicus, blend of poplicus 'of the people' (from populus 'people') and pubes 'adult'.

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