1 n-sing-coll You can refer to people in general, or to all the people in a particular country or community, as the public.
Lauderdale House is now open to the public..., Pure alcohol is not for sale to the general public..., Trade unions are regarding the poll as a test of the public's confidence in the government.
2 n-sing-coll You can refer to a set of people in a country who share a common interest, activity, or characteristic as a particular kind of public.
Market research showed that 93% of the viewing public wanted a hit film channel.
3 adj Public means relating to all the people in a country or community.
The President is attempting to drum up public support for his economic program.
4 adj Public means relating to the government or state, or things that are done for the people by the state.
The social services account for a substantial part of public spending.
publicly adv ADV -ed
...publicly funded legal services.
5 adj Public buildings and services are provided for everyone to use.
ADJ n (Antonym: private)
The new museum must be accessible by public transport., ...a public health service available to all.
6 adj A public place is one where people can go about freely and where you can easily be seen and heard., (Antonym: private)
...the heavily congested public areas of international airports..., I avoid working in places which are too public.
7 adj If someone is a public figure or in public life, many people know who they are because they are often mentioned in newspapers and on television.
I'd like to see more women in public life, especially Parliament.
8 adj Public is used to describe statements, actions, and events that are made or done in such a way that any member of the public can see them or be aware of them.
The National Heritage Committee has conducted a public inquiry to find the answer..., The comments were the ministry's first detailed public statement on the subject...
publicly adv usu ADV with v
He never spoke publicly about the affair...
9 adj If a fact is made public or becomes public, it becomes known to everyone rather than being kept secret.
Blair wants any new evidence on IRA pub bombs made public...
10 If someone is inthe public eye, many people know who they are, because they are famous or because they are often mentioned on television or in the newspapers.
the public eye phrase prep PHR
One expects people in the public eye to conduct their personal lives with a certain decorum...
11 If a company goes public, it starts selling its shares on the stock exchange. (BUSINESS)
go public phrase V inflects
In 1951 AC went public, having achieved an average annual profit of more than £50,000.
12 If you say or do something in public, you say or do it when a group of people are present.
in public phrase PHR after v
By-laws are to make it illegal to smoke in public.
to wash your dirty linen in public →
You can refer to the people in a society as the general public, especially when you are contrasting people in general with a small group. n-sing-coll the N
These charities depend on the compassionate feelings and generosity of the general public..., Unemployment is 10 percent among the general public and about 40 percent among North African immigrants.
public address system ( public address systems plural ) A public address system is a set of electrical equipment which allows someone's voice, or music, to be heard throughout a large building or area. The abbreviation PA is also used. n-count
public bar ( public bars plural ) In a British pub, a public bar is a room where the furniture is plain and the drinks are cheaper than in the pub's other bars. n-count
public company ( public companies plural ) A public company is a company whose shares can be bought by the general public. (BUSINESS) n-count
public convenience ( public conveniences plural ) A public convenience is a toilet in a public place for everyone to use.
public defender ( public defenders plural ) A public defender is a lawyer who is employed by a city or county to represent people who are accused of crimes but cannot afford to pay for a lawyer themselves.
If information is in the public domain, it is not secret and can be used or discussed by anyone. n-sing usu in the N
It is outrageous that the figures are not in the public domain...
public house ( public houses plural ) A public house is the same as a pub.
public limited company ( public limited companies plural ) A public limited company is the same as a public company. The abbreviation plc is used after such companies' names. (BUSINESS) n-count
public nuisance ( public nuisances plural ) If something or someone is, or causes, a public nuisance, they break the law by harming or annoying members of the public. (LEGAL) n-count usu sing
...the 45-day jail sentence he received for causing a public nuisance after taking part in a demonstration..., Back in the 1980s drug users were a public nuisance in Zurich.
Public opinion is the opinion or attitude of the public regarding a particular matter. n-uncount
He mobilized public opinion all over the world against hydrogen-bomb tests.
1 n-uncount Public property is land and other assets that belong to the general public and not to a private owner., (Antonym: private property)
...vandals who wrecked public property...
2 n-uncount If you describe a person or thing as public property, you mean that information about them is known and discussed by everyone.
She complained that intimate aspects of her personal life had been made public property.
public prosecutor ( public prosecutors plural ) A public prosecutor is an official who puts people on trial on behalf of the government and people of a particular country. n-count
1 n-uncount Public relations is the part of an organization's work that is concerned with obtaining the public's approval for what it does. The abbreviation PR is often used. (BUSINESS)
The move was good public relations..., George is a public relations officer for The John Bennett Trust.
2 n-plural You can refer to the opinion that the public has of an organization as public relations.
Limiting casualties is important for public relations.
public school ( public schools plural )
1 n-var In Britain, a public school is a private school that provides secondary education which parents have to pay for. The pupils often live at the school during the school term.
He was headmaster of a public school in the West of England.
2 n-var In the United States, Australia, and many other countries, a public school is a school that is supported financially by the government and usually provides free education.
...Milwaukee's public school system.
The public sector is the part of a country's economy which is controlled or supported financially by the government. (BUSINESS) n-sing the N (Antonym: private sector)
To keep economic reform on track, 60,000 public-sector jobs must be cut.
public servant ( public servants plural ) A public servant is a person who is appointed or elected to a public office, for example working for a local or state government. n-count
public service ( public services plural )
1 n-count A public service is something such as health care, transport, or the removal of waste which is organized by the government or an official body in order to benefit all the people in a particular society or community.
The money is used by local authorities to pay for public services.
2 n-uncount You use public service to refer to activities and jobs which are provided or paid for by a government, especially through the civil service.
oft N n
...a distinguished career in public service.
3 adj Public service broadcasting consists of television and radio programmes supplied by an official or government organization, rather than by a commercial company. Such programmes often provide information or education, as well as entertainment.
4 n-uncount Public service activities and types of work are concerned with helping people and providing them with what they need, rather than making a profit.
...an egalitarian society based on cooperation and public service.
A public-spirited person tries to help the community that they belong to. adj
Thanks to a group of public-spirited citizens, the Krippendorf garden has been preserved.
public utility ( public utilities plural ) Public utilities are services provided by the government or state, such as the supply of electricity and gas, or the train network. n-count
Water supplies and other public utilities were badly affected.
Public works are buildings, roads, and other projects that are built by the government or state for the public. n-plural