Meaning of PUBLIC in English

PUBLIC

INDEX:

1. for everyone to use

2. owned or paid for by the government

3. when a lot of people can see you or know about what is happening

RELATED WORDS

opposite

↑ PRIVATE

people in general : ↑ PERSON/PEOPLE

see also

↑ GOVERNMENT

↑ POLITICS

↑ PUBLIC SERVICES

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1. for everyone to use

▷ public /ˈpʌblɪk/ [adjective only before noun]

a public place or public service is one that anyone can use, not one that is only for a particular person or group :

▪ Could you tell me where the public telephones are?

▪ Is this a public beach?

▪ proposals to ban smoking in public places

▪ They’re always telling people to use public transport because there are too many cars on the roads.

▪ You now have to pay to use the public toilets at the station.

2. owned or paid for by the government

▷ public /ˈpʌblɪk/ [adjective only before noun]

public libraries, hospitals etc are provided and paid for by the government, not by private companies :

▪ You can get the information from your local public library

▪ We need to raise taxes to pay for better public healthcare.

public services

▪ garbage collection and other public services

public spending/expenditure

money spent by the government to provide public services

▪ There’s been a big increase in public spending over the past three years.

the public sector

all the industries and services that are owned or paid for by the government

▪ I’ve worked in the public sector all my life, mainly in local government.

▪ public sector employees

publicly owned [adjective]

▪ Thatcher privatized publicly owned industries like electricity and telecommunications.

▷ state /steɪt/ [adjective only before noun]

owned, controlled, or paid for by the government. In the US state usually refers to the government of a particular state, not the national government :

▪ The government has promised increased spending on the the state education system.

▪ China’s state radio station

▪ Britain’s state aid for industry generally falls far short of the sums seen in other countries.

▷ government /ˈgʌv ə mənt, ˈgʌv ə nməntǁˈgʌvərn-/ [adjective only before noun]

provided, paid for, or run by the government :

▪ How much government money is to be poured into this program?

▪ The camps have been attacked several times by government forces.

▪ The industry secretary has just announced a government initiative to address the problem.

▷ federal /ˈfed ə rəl/ [adjective only before noun]

owned or paid for by the national government of the US or a country organized in a similar way :

▪ Federal funding for the project was cut last year

▪ federal agencies

▪ the Federal Bureau of Investigation

federally [adverb]

▪ federally funded programs

▷ nationalize also nationalise British /ˈnæʃ ə nəlaɪz/ [transitive verb]

if a government nationalizes an industry or service, it buys it or takes control of it :

▪ The mines were nationalized by the Labour Party.

▪ Castro speeded up his land reforms and began to nationalize foreign holdings in Cuba.

nationalized/nationalised [adjective only before noun]

▪ The government is trying to sell off as many nationalized industries as it can.

3. when a lot of people can see you or know about what is happening

▷ in public /ɪn ˈpʌblɪk/ [adverb]

if you do something in public, you do it in a place where a lot of people can see or hear you :

▪ Most people feel nervous about speaking in public.

▪ Her husband was always nice to her in public, but treated her badly at home.

appear in public

use this to say that a famous person is seen in public by ordinary people

▪ The Prince has not appeared in public since the announcement of his divorce.

▷ publicly /ˈpʌblɪkli/ [adverb]

if you do or say something publicly, you do or say it so that everyone knows about it, and you do not try to keep it secret :

▪ He was put in prison after publicly criticizing the military government.

▪ They plan to announce their engagement publicly in the New Year.

▷ public /ˈpʌblɪk/ [adjective]

public actions or events happen in a place where everyone can see or hear them :

▪ It is one of the few countries where they still hold public executions.

▪ In a public statement, Jackson and his wife announced their intention to get divorced.

a public place

a place where people can see or hear what you are doing

▪ Jeff was obviously calling from a public place.

▪ Can we go somewhere quieter? This place is a bit public.

▷ openly /ˈəʊpənli/ [adverb]

if you do something openly, you do it in a public place and without being embarrassed or trying to hide what you are doing :

▪ He was the first person to talk openly on TV about having AIDS.

▪ Drugs are sold openly on the city streets.

▷ officially /əˈfɪʃ ə li/ [adverb]

if something is done officially, it is done by someone in authority, and made known to the public :

▪ The changes to borders were officially announced in the European Parliament.

▪ The details of the reforms are to be released officially next month.

▪ thirty square miles of woodland that has been officially designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

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