1. [syn: populace, public, world]
2. a body of people sharing some common interest;
- Example: "the reading public"
1. not private; open to or concerning the people as a whole;
- Example: "the public good"
- Example: "public libraries"
- Example: "public funds"
- Example: "public parks"
- Example: "a public scandal"
- Example: "public gardens"
- Example: "performers and members of royal families are public figures"
2. affecting the people or community as a whole;
- Example: "community leaders"
- Example: "community interests"
- Example: "the public welfare"
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Public \Pub"lic\, a. [L. publicus, poblicus, fr. populus people:
cf. F. public. See People.]
1. Of or pertaining to the people; belonging to the people;
relating to, or affecting, a nation, state, or community;
-- opposed to private; as, the public treasury.
To the public good
Private respects must yield. --Milton.
He [Alexander Hamilton] touched the dead corpse of
the public credit, and it sprung upon its feet. --D.
2. Open to the knowledge or view of all; general; common;
notorious; as, public report; public scandal.
Joseph, . . . not willing to make her a public
example, was minded to put her away privily. --Matt.
3. Open to common or general use; as, a public road; a public
house. "The public street." --Shak.
public act or public statute (Law), an act or statute
affecting matters of public concern. Of such statutes the
courts take judicial notice.
Public credit. See under Credit.
Public funds. See Fund, 3.
Public house, an inn, or house of entertainment.
(a) See International law, under International.
(b) A public act or statute.
Public nuisance. (Law) See under Nuisance.
Public orator. (Eng. Universities) See Orator, 3.
Public stores, military and naval stores, equipments, etc.
Public works, all fixed works built by civil engineers for
public use, as railways, docks, canals, etc.; but
strictly, military and civil engineering works constructed
at the public cost.
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Public \Pub"lic\, n.
1. The general body of mankind, or of a nation, state, or
community; the people, indefinitely; as, the American
public; also, a particular body or aggregation of people;
as, an author's public.
The public is more disposed to censure than to
2. A public house; an inn. [Scot.] --Sir W. Scott.
In public, openly; before an audience or the people at
large; not in private or secrecy. "We are to speak in
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
adj 1: not private; open to or concerning the people as a whole;
"the public good"; "public libraries"; "public funds";
"public parks"; "a public scandal"; "public gardens";
"performers and members of royal families are public
figures" [ant: private]
2: affecting the people or community as a whole; "community
leaders"; "community interests"; "the public welfare"
n 1: people in general considered as a whole; "he is a hero in
the eyes of the public" [syn: populace, public,
2: a body of people sharing some common interest; "the reading
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:
310 Moby Thesaurus words for "public":
Babbittish, Everyman, John Doe, Philistine, Public, accessible,
acknowledged, adherent, admitted, affirmed, alehouse, announced,
apparent, appendage, associated, attendant, audience, available,
bar, barrel house, barroom, beer garden, beer parlor, bistro,
blatant, blind tiger, boardinghouse, body politic, bourgeois,
bourgeoisie, broadcast, brought to notice, buff, business, buyers,
cabaret, cafe, campy, carriage trade, catholic, cavaliere servente,
celebrated, circulated, citizenry, citizens, civic, civil, clear,
clear-cut, clientage, clientele, cocktail lounge, collective,
collectivistic, common, common knowledge, common man,
common property, commonalty, commonly known, commonplace,
commonwealth, communal, communistic, community, community at large,
commutual, conjoint, conjunct, conspicuous, constituency,
consumers, cooperative, cortical, cosmopolitan, courtier,
cultural community, current, custom, dangler, declared, demos,
dependent, diffused, disciple, disreputable, disseminated,
distributed, dive, dorm, dormitory, doss house, dramshop,
drinking saloon, dwellers, eminent, epidermic, estate, everybody,
everyman, everyone, everywoman, exomorphic, exposed, exterior,
external, extrinsic, familiar, famous, fan, flagrant, fleabag,
flophouse, flunky, folk, folks, follower, followers, following,
free, fringe, general, general public, gentry, gin mill,
government, governmental, groggery, grogshop, guest house,
habitancy, hackneyed, hanger-on, henchman, high-camp, hoi polloi,
homely, homespun, homme de cour, honky-tonk, hospice, hostel,
hostelry, hotel, household, illustrious, in circulation, in common,
in print, in public, in the open, infamous, influential,
inhabitants, inn, international, joint, kitschy, known,
linguistic community, local, lodging house, low-camp, made public,
make public, manifest, market, masses, men, middle class,
multitude, municipal, mutual, nation, national, nationality,
nightclub, notable, noted, notorious, obvious, open, openly,
ordinary, out, outer, outermost, outlying, outmost, outside,
outstanding, outward, outward-facing, overt, parasite, partisan,
patent, patronage, pension, people, people at large,
people in general, peripheral, persons, plain, platitudinous,
plebeian, plebeians, polity, pop, populace, popular, population,
portion, posada, pothouse, proclaimed, projected, proletariat,
prominent, propagated, proverbial, pub, public house, publicly,
publish, published, purchasing public, pursuer, pursuivant,
rank and file, rathskeller, reciprocal, renowned, reported,
roadhouse, rooming house, roundabout, rumshop, rural market,
saloon, saloon bar, satellite, sectary, sector, seeming, segment,
shadow, shared, social, socialistic, societal, society, speakeasy,
special-interest group, speech community, spread, state, stated,
stooge, suburban market, successor, suite, superficial, supporter,
supranational, surface, tagtail, tail, talked-about, talked-of,
taproom, tavern, telecast, televised, the citizenry,
the general public, the people, the populace, the population,
the public, third estate, trade, trainbearer, trite, truistic,
unconcealed, universal, universally admitted,
universally recognized, unrestricted, unshrouded, urban,
vernacular, viewable, visible, votary, ward heeler, well-kenned,
well-known, well-recognized, well-understood, whole people,
widely known, widespread, wine shop, world, worldwide, you and me,
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):
PUBLIC. By the term the public, is meant the whole body politic, or all the
citizens of the state; sometimes it signifies the inhabitants of a
particular place; as, the New York public.
2. A distinction has been made between the terms public and general,
they are sometimes used as synonymous. The former term is applied strictly
to that which concerns all the citizens and every member of the state; while
the latter includes a lesser, though still a large portion of the community.
Greenl. Ev. Sec. 128.
3. When the public interests and its rights conflict with those of an
individual, the latter must yield. Co. Litt. 181. if, for example, a road is
required for public convenience, and in its course it passes on the ground
occupied by a house, the latter must be torn down, however valuable it may
be to the owner. In such a case both law and justice require that the owner
shall be fully indemnified.
4. This term is sometimes joined to other terms, to designate those
things which have a relation to the public; as, a public officer, a public
road, a public passage, a public house.