See also: públic

English

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Anglo-Norman publik, public, Middle French public, publique et al., and their source, Latin pūblicus (pertaining to the people). Compare people.

Displaced native Old English ceorlfolc and Old English folclic.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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public (comparative more public, superlative most public)

  1. Able to be seen or known by everyone; open to general view, happening without concealment. [from 14th c.]
    • 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene vi], page 100, column 1:
      VVith ſcoffs and ſcornes, and contumelious taunts, / In open Market-place produc't they me, / To be a publique ſpectacle to all: / Here, ſayd they, is the Terror of the French, / The Scar-Crovv that affrights our Children ſo.
    • 2011 April 18, Sandra Laville, The Guardian:
      Earlier this month Godwin had to make a public apology to the family of Daniel Morgan after the collapse of a £30m inquiry into his murder in 1987.
    • 2013 June 28, Joris Luyendijk, “Our banks are out of control”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 3, page 21:
      Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic []. Until 2008 there was denial over what finance had become. When a series of bank failures made this impossible, there was widespread anger, leading to the public humiliation of symbolic figures.
  2. Officially representing the community; carried out or funded by the state on behalf of the community. [from 15th c.]
    • 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XXII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
      From another point of view, it was a place without a soul. The well-to-do had hearts of stone; the rich were brutally bumptious; the Press, the Municipality, all the public men, were ridiculously, vaingloriously self-satisfied.
    • 2004 June 18, “The Guardian”, in Leader:
      But culture's total budget is a tiny proportion of all public spending; it is one of the government's most visible success stories.
  3. Open to all members of a community; especially, provided by national or local authorities and supported by money from taxes. [from 15th c.]
    • 1975 December 13, Gerrie Leary, quotee, “"State House" Couple Fail To Get License”, in Gay Community News, volume 3, number 24, page 1:
      Leary claimed that the police had told him that he would be "arrested" if he crossed the street. "They had no right to say that," he said. "The stairway there is a public stairway."
    • 2011 May 10, David Smith, The Guardian:
      Some are left for dead on rubbish tips, in refuge bags or at public toilets.
    • 2013 June 14, Jonathan Freedland, “Obama's once hip brand is now tainted”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 1, page 18:
      Now we are liberal with our innermost secrets, spraying them into the public ether with a generosity our forebears could not have imagined. Where we once sent love letters in a sealed envelope, or stuck photographs of our children in a family album, now such private material is despatched to servers and clouds operated by people we don't know and will never meet.
  4. (of a company) Traded publicly via a stock market.
  5. (not comparable, object-oriented programming) Accessible to the program in general, not only to the class or any subclasses.

Antonyms

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Derived terms

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Terms derived from public (adjective)
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Translations

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun

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public (plural publics)

  1. The people in general, regardless of membership of any particular group.
    Members of the public may not proceed beyond this point.
    • 1904–1905, Baroness Orczy [i.e., Emma Orczy], “The Tremarn Case”, in The Case of Miss Elliott, London: T[homas] Fisher Unwin, published 1905, →OCLC; republished as popular edition, London: Greening & Co., 1909, OCLC 11192831, quoted in The Case of Miss Elliott (ebook no. 2000141h.html), Australia: Project Gutenberg of Australia, February 2020:
      “Two or three months more went by ; the public were eagerly awaiting the arrival of this semi-exotic claimant to an English peerage, and sensations, surpassing those of the Tichbourne case, were looked forward to with palpitating interest. []
    • 2007 May 4, Martin Jacques, The Guardian:
      Bush and Blair stand condemned by their own publics and face imminent political extinction.
  2. (public relations) A particular group or demographic to be targeted.
    • 2005, Donald Treadwell, Jill B. Treadwell, Public Relations Writing: Principles in Practice, page 19:
      To the extent that you will use them to reach many other publics, the news media will also be one of your publics.
  3. (archaic) A public house; an inn.
  4. (non-native speakers' English) An internet publication. Calque from Russian and Ukrainian па́блик (páblyk), па́блік (páblik).
    • 2023 January 7, Alexander Grigoryev, “Russian public: PMC "Wagner" fighters report that the Armed Forces of Ukraine are using unidentified chemical weapons in Artemovsk”, in Military Review[2]:
      Russian publics report that the fighters of the Wagner group have already practically taken possession of Soledar, there are fights on the outskirts, where the Vushniks are trying to fight back in the salt mines.
    • 2023 December, Iryna Rudia, Vaiva Zuzevičiūtė, Olena Gogorenko, Public Security and Public Order[3], number 34, Kaunas: Mykolas Romeris University, →DOI, pages 219 of 218–225:
      Complex inductions are unconscious powerful components of influence. They include the following varieties:
      […] 4) Truisms. The term comes from the English word "true", which means "truth". Therefore, under truism it is accepted to understand banal truths, i.e. something that in principle does not require confirmation, but it is so banal and common knowledge that it is rather strange to base on it, but here again there is a "but". In our subconsciousness we perceive it as a certain axiom, and this axiom is interpreted by our subconsciousness itself. As an example, the phrase "In matters of war, Russia is Russia, and Ukraine is Ukraine" was repeatedly encountered in Russian publics. In principle, there is no sense in this phrase, because not a single fact is given. However, each of the readers interpreted it for himself, and putting the word "Russia" in the foreground makes a hint that Russia is stronger than Ukraine in military terms, but the phrase itself does not express such a meaning extra-linguistically.

Derived terms

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Translations

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References

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French

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Etymology

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Borrowed from Latin pūblicus. The noun is from the adjective.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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public (feminine publique, masculine plural publics, feminine plural publiques)

  1. public (various meanings)
    1. (relational) of the people as a whole; public [from 1238]
      l’intérêt publicthe public interest
      le bien publicthe public good
      La voix publique est pour lui.The public voice is for him.
    2. public; seen or known by everyone [from 1330]
      C’est une nouvelle qui est déjà publique.It's already public news.
    3. public; representing the state on behalf of the community [from 1390]
      Synonym: étatique
      pouvoirs publicspublic powers
      notaire publicpublic notary
    4. public; open to all [from 1538]
      Synonym: commun
      lieu publicpublic place
      fille publiquestreetwalker, prostitute (literally, “public girl”)

Derived terms

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Noun

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public m (plural publics)

  1. public (people in general) [from 1320]
    • 2015 October 3, Romain Gueugneau, “Le smartphone tout terrain s’aventure dans le grand public”, in LesEchos[4]:
      Et la demande augmente dans le grand public.
      And the demand is increasing amongst the general public.
  2. audience [from 1671]
    Il devait plaire à son public.He had to please his audience.
    • 2016, Claudine Monfette, Robert Charlebois, Pierre Nadeau (lyrics and music), “Ordinaire”, in Encore un soir[5], performed by Céline Dion:
      Quand je chante, c’est pour le public
      When I sing, it's for the audience

Derived terms

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Further reading

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Ladin

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Adjective

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public m pl

  1. plural of publich

Occitan

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Etymology

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From Latin publicus.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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public m (feminine singular publica, masculine plural publics, feminine plural publicas)

  1. public
    Antonym: privat

Derived terms

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Noun

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public m (plural publics)

  1. public, audience

Old French

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Alternative forms

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Adjective

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public m (oblique and nominative feminine singular publique)

  1. public (not private; available to the general populace)

Derived terms

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References

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Romanian

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Etymology

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Borrowed from French public, from Latin publicus.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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public m or n (feminine singular publică, masculine plural publici, feminine and neuter plural publice)

  1. public

Declension

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Noun

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public n (plural publice)

  1. the public