Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “public”

public

adjective uk   /ˈpʌb.lɪk/ us  

public adjective (PEOPLE)

B2 relating to or involving people in general, rather than being limited to a particular group of people: Public opinion (= the opinions of most people) has turned against him. Is it really in the public interest (= useful to people) to publish this information? We need to increase public awareness of the disease. Peaceful demonstrations that do not cause a public nuisance (= do not harm other people) are a fundamental right in any truly democratic country. The government has had to bow to public pressure on the issue. The information only became public after his death. The results will not be made public (= told to everyone) until tomorrow. We will not go public with (= tell people in general) the results until tomorrow.

public adjective (GOVERNMENT)

B1 provided by the government from taxes to be available to everyone: public funds/services/spending public buildings a public library He is unlikely to hold public office (= have an important job in national or local government).

public adjective (PLACE)

describes a place where a lot of people are: It's too public here - let's go back to my room to talk.

public

noun [U, + sing/pl verb] uk   /ˈpʌb.lɪk/ us  
the public B1 all ordinary people: The public has a right to know about this. The palace and its grounds are open to the public (= people can visit) during the summer months. When will the product be available to the general public (= all ordinary people)? Members of the public were asked about their shopping habits. the group of people who are involved with you or your organization, especially in a business relationship: Newspapers publish these outrageous stories because they know what their public wants. in public B2 in a place where people can see you: I'd never behave like that in public.
Compare
(Definition of public from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of public?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “public” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

maiden

a girl or young woman

Word of the Day

Countability – grammar codes

by Dom Glennon​​,
November 26, 2014
Advices and informations Have you ever noticed strange codes in square brackets on entries in Cambridge Dictionaries Online and wondered what they mean? These are grammar codes, giving you a brief summary of how that word behaves grammatically. More information can be obtained by hovering your cursor over the code, and there’s

Read More 

ped-text verb

November 24, 2014
to text someone while walking I’m ped-texting, I’m looking down at my phone, 75 percent of the time.

Read More