/pub"lik/ , adj.
1. of, pertaining to, or affecting a population or a community as a whole: public funds; a public nuisance.
2. done, made, acting, etc., for the community as a whole: public prosecution.
3. open to all persons: a public meeting.
4. of, pertaining to, or being in the service of a community or nation, esp. as a government officer: a public official.
5. maintained at the public expense and under public control: a public library; a public road.
6. generally known: The fact became public.
7. familiar to the public; prominent: public figures.
8. open to the view of all; existing or conducted in public: a public dispute.
9. pertaining or devoted to the welfare or well-being of the community: public spirit.
10. of or pertaining to all humankind; universal.
11. go public ,
a. to issue stock for sale to the general public.
b. to present private or previously concealed information, news, etc., to the public; make matters open to public view: The Senator threatened to go public with his Congressional-reform plan.
12. make public , to cause to become known generally, as through the news media: Her resignation was made public this morning.
13. the people constituting a community, state, or nation.
14. a particular group of people with a common interest, aim, etc.: the book-buying public.
15. Brit. Informal. a tavern; public house.
16. in public , not in private; in a situation open to public view or access; publicly: It was the first time that she had sung in public.
[ 1400-50; publicus (earlier poblicus, poplicus, akin to populus PEOPLE); r. late ME publique ]