- 1[only before noun] connected with ordinary people in society in general The campaign is designed to increase public awareness of the issues. Levels of waste from the factory may be a danger to public health. Why would the closure of hospitals be in the public interest (= useful to ordinary people)? The government had to bow to public pressure. for everyone
- 2[only before noun] provided, especially by the government, for the use of people in general a public education system a public library opposite private see also public school of government
- 3 [only before noun] connected with the government and the services it provides public money/spending/funding/expenditure He spent much of his career in public office (= working in the government). The rail industry is no longer in public ownership (= controlled by the government). opposite private seen/heard by people
- 4known to people in general a public figure (= a person who is well known because they are often on the television, radio, etc.) Details of the government report have not yet been made public. She entered public life (= started a job in which she became known to the public) at the age of 25. This latest scandal will not have done their public image (= the opinion that people have of them) any good.
- 5open to people in general; intended to be seen or heard by people in general a public apology The painting will be put on public display next week. This may be the band's last public appearance together. place
- 6where there are a lot of people who can see and hear you Let's go somewhere a little less public. opposite private
- NAmE//ˈpʌblɪkli//adverb a publicly owned company He later publicly apologized for his comments. This information is not publicly available. Idioms
- 1 to tell people about something that is a secret A court order failed to stop her from going public with the story.
- 2(of a company) to start selling shares on the stock exchange
of ordinary people
adjectivejump to other results
publiclyjump to other results
to be something that everyone knows, especially in a particular community or group Their relationship is common knowledge.
be common/public knowledgejump to other results
go publicjump to other results
well known to many people through newspapers and television She doesn't want her children growing up in the public eye.
in the public eyejump to other results