1. property rights that are held by the public at large
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Domain \Do*main"\, n. [F. domaine, OF. demaine, L. dominium,
property, right of ownership, fr. dominus master, owner. See
Dame, and cf Demesne, Dungeon.]
1. Dominion; empire; authority.
2. The territory over which dominion or authority is exerted;
the possessions of a sovereign or commonwealth, or the
like. Also used figuratively. [WordNet sense 2]
The domain of authentic history. --E. Everett.
The domain over which the poetic spirit ranges. --J.
3. Landed property; estate; especially, the land about the
mansion house of a lord, and in his immediate occupancy;
demesne. [WordNet sense 2] --Shenstone.
4. (Law) Ownership of land; an estate or patrimony which one
has in his own right; absolute proprietorship; paramount
or sovereign ownership.
5. (Math.) the set of values which the independent variable
of a function may take. Contrasted to range, which is
the set of values taken by the dependent variable.
[WordNet sense 3]
6. (Math.) a connected set of points, also called a region.
7. (Physics) a region within a ferromagnetic material,
composed of a number of atoms whose magnetic poles are
pointed in the same direction, and which may move together
in a coordinated manner when disturbed, as by heating. The
direction of polarity of adjacent domains may be
different, but may be aligned by a strong external
8. (Computers) an address within the internet computer
network, which may be a single computer, a network of
computers, or one of a number of accounts on a multiuser
computer. The domain specifies the location (host
computer) to which communications on the internet are
directed. Each domain has a corresponding 32-bit number
usually represented by four numbers separated by periods,
as 128.32.282.56. Each domain may also have an
alphabetical name, usually composed of a name plus an
extension separated by a period, as worldsoul.org; the
alphabetical name is referred to as a domain name.
9. (Immunology) the three-dimensional structure within an
immunoglobulin which is formed by one of the homology
regions of a heavy or light chain. --Dict. Sci. Tech.
10. the field of knowledge, expertise, or interest of a
person; as, he had a limited domain of discourse; I can't
comment on that, it's outside my domain. [WordNet sense
Syn: domain, realm, field, area. [PJC]
11. a particular environment or walk of life. [WordNet sense
Syn: sphere, domain, area, orbit, field, arena. [PJC]
12. people in general; especially a distinctive group of
people with some shared interest. [WordNet sense 4]
Syn: world, domain. [PJC]
1. the territory belonging to a State or to the general
government; public lands. [U.S.]
2. the situation or status of intellectual property which is
not protected by copyright, patent or other restriction on
in the public domain may be used by anyone without
restriction. The effective term of force of copyrights and
patents are limited by statute, and after the term
expires, the writings and inventions thus protected go
into the public domain and are free for use by all.
Right of eminent domain, that superior dominion of the
sovereign power over all the property within the state,
including that previously granted by itself, which
authorizes it to appropriate any part thereof to a
necessary public use, reasonable compensation being made.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: property rights that are held by the public at large
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing (18 March 2015):
public domain software
(PD) The total absence of copyright protection. If
something is "in the public domain" then anyone can copy it or
use it in any way they wish. The author has none of the
exclusive rights which apply to a copyright work.
The phrase "public domain" is often used incorrectly to refer
to freeware or shareware (software which is copyrighted
but is distributed without (advance) payment). Public domain
means no copyright -- no exclusive rights. In fact the phrase
"public domain" has no legal status at all in the UK.
See also archive site, careware, charityware,
copyleft, crippleware, guiltware, postcardware and
-ware. Compare payware.