Definition of publican noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈpʌblɪkən//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʌblɪkən//
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  1. 1(British English, formal) a person who owns or manages a pub
  2. 2(Australian English, New Zealand English) a person who owns or manages a hotel
  3. Word OriginMiddle English (referring to someone who collected taxes in ancient Rome and biblical times): from Old French publicain, from Latin publicanus, from publicum ‘public revenue’, neuter (used as a noun) of publicus ‘of the people’. The current sense dates from the early 18th cent.