/ ˈpʌblɪk; NAmE / adjective , noun
OF ORDINARY PEOPLE
[ only before noun ] connected with ordinary people in society in general :
The campaign is designed to increase public awareness of the issues.
Levels of waste from the factory may be a danger to public health.
Why would the closure of hospitals be in the public interest (= useful to ordinary people) ?
The government had to bow to public pressure.
[ only before noun ] provided, especially by the government, for the use of people in general :
a public education system
a public library
[ only before noun ] connected with the government and the services it provides :
public money / spending / funding / expenditure
He spent much of his career in public office (= working in the government) .
( BrE )
the public purse (= the money that the government can spend)
The rail industry is no longer in public ownership (= controlled by the government) .
SEEN / HEARD BY PEOPLE
known to people in general :
a public figure (= a person who is well known because they are often on the television, radio, etc.)
Details of the government report have not yet been made public .
She entered public life (= started a job in which she became known to the public) at the age of 25.
open to people in general; intended to be seen or heard by people in general :
a public apology
The painting will be put on public display next week.
This may be the band's last public appearance together.
where there are a lot of people who can see and hear you :
Let's go somewhere a little less public.
► pub·lic·ly / -kli; NAmE / adverb :
a publicly owned company
He later publicly apologized for his comments.
This information is not publicly available.
- go public
- in the public eye
—more at knowledge
[ sing.+ sing./pl. v . ]
the public ordinary people in society in general :
The palace is now open to the public.
There have been many complaints from members of the public .
The public has / have a right to know what is contained in the report.
—see also the general public
GROUP OF PEOPLE
a group of people who share a particular interest or who are involved in the same activity :
the theatre-going public
She knows how to keep her public (= for example, the people who buy her books) satisfied.
- in public
—more at wash verb
late Middle English : from Old French , from Latin publicus , blend of poplicus of the people (from populus people) and pubes adult.