Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: French
Origin: publique, from Latin publicus, probably from poplicus, from populus 'people'; influenced by pubes 'adult' ( PUBES)

public

1 adjective
     
Related topics: Government, Citizenship
pub‧lic1 S1 W1
1

ordinary people

[only before noun]PGC relating to all the ordinary people in a country, who are not members of the government or do not have important jobs:
We have to show that publishing this story is in the public interest (=helpful or useful to ordinary people).
Public opinion is gradually shifting in favor of the imprisoned men.
There was a public outcry (=display of anger by a lot of people) about the shooting.
2

for anyone

[only before noun] available for anyone to use [≠ private]:
a public telephone
a public footpath
proposals to ban smoking in public places
a public library
full public access to information
public transport British English /public transportation American English (=buses, trains etc)
3

government

[only before noun]PG relating to the government and the services it provides for people [≠ private]:
the Government's public spending plans
We do not believe he is fit for public office (=a job in the government).
efforts to control public expenditure
public funding for the arts
public service
4

known about

known about by most people:
Details of the highly sensitive information have not been made public.
It is a job that brings him constantly into the public eye (=seen or heard a lot on television, radio etc).
Although not a public figure (=famous person), he was a man of great influence.
5

not hidden

intended for anyone to know, see, or hear [≠ private]:
Today the school finds itself in the midst of a very public debate.
public display of grief/affection etc (=showing your emotions so that everyone can see)
She was acutely embarrassed by his public display of temper.
There will be a public inquiry into the sinking of the oil tanker.
6

place with a lot of people

a public place usually has a lot of people in it [≠ private]:
Let's go somewhere less public where we can talk.
7

public life

work that you do, especially for the government, that makes you well-known to many people:
Howard seems to have retired from public life.
8

public image

the public image of a famous person or organization is the character or attitudes that most people think they have
public image of
attempts to improve the public image of the police
9

go public

a) to tell everyone about something that was secret
go public on/with
The planners are almost ready to go public on the road-building scheme.
b) PEBBC to become a public company:
Many partnerships went public in the 1980s to secure extra capital.
10

public appearance

a visit by a famous person in order to make a speech, advertise something etc:
She is paid £10,000 for the briefest of public appearances.
11

public property

a) something that is provided for anyone to use, and is usually owned by the government:
The army was called out to protect public property.
b) something that everyone has a right to know about:
Our lives seem to have become public property.
12

public enemy number one

SCC the criminal, problem etc that is considered the most serious threat to people's safety:
Drugs have become public enemy number one.

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