Definition of public adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    public

     adjective
    adjective
    BrE BrE//ˈpʌblɪk//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈpʌblɪk//
     
    Belonging to society
     
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    of ordinary people
  1. 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. See related entries: Belonging to society
  2. for everyone
  3. 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
  4. of government
  5. 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). (British English) the public purse (= the money that the government can spend) The rail industry is no longer in public ownership (= controlled by the government). opposite private
  6. seen/heard by people
  7. 4  known 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.
  8. 5  open 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.
  9. place
  10. 6  where there are a lot of people who can see and hear you Let's go somewhere a little less public. opposite private
  11. Word Origin late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin publicus, blend of poplicus ‘of the people’ (from populus ‘people’) and pubes ‘adult’.Extra examples There was a very public display of Anglo-American unity at the meeting. We’re going to make the news public. Details of the government report have not yet been made public. He spent much of his career in public office. He was charged with destroying public property. Jobs have been created in both the private and public sectors of the economy. Levels of waste from the factory may be a danger to public health. Schools are worried about public spending cuts. She entered public life at the age of 23. The campaign is designed to increase public awareness of the issues. The information is available in any public library. The media has a powerful influence on public opinion. The rail industry is no longer in public ownership. The reception and other public areas have been refurbished. Their tax plans would hit public services. There has been massive investment in public housing. There is a desperate need to improve public transport in the city. We believe there is scope to improve public access to the countryside. What would be the real cost of such a scheme to the public purse? Why would the closure of hospitals be in the public interest? public transportationIdioms
    be common/public knowledge
     
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    to be something that everyone knows, especially in a particular community or group Their relationship is common knowledge.
    1. 1to tell people about something that is a secret A court order failed to stop her going public with the story.
    2. 2(of a company) to start selling shares on the stock exchange
    well known to many people through newspapers and television She doesn't want her children growing up in the public eye.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: public