Hypertext Webster Gateway: "public"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Public \Pub"lic\, n.
1. The general body of mankind, or of a nation, state, or
community; the people, indefinitely; as, the American
public; also, a particular body or aggregation of people;
as, an author's public.

The public is more disposed to censure than to
praise. --Addison.

2. A public house; an inn. [Scot.] --Sir W. Scott.

{In public}, openly; before an audience or the people at
large; not in private or secrecy. ``We are to speak in
public.'' --Shak.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Public \Pub"lic\, a. [L. publicus, poblicus, fr. populus people:
cf. F. public. See {People}.]
1. Of or pertaining to the people; belonging to the people;
relating to, or affecting, a nation, state, or community;
-- opposed to {private}; as, the public treasury.

To the public good Private respects must yield.

He [Alexander Hamilton] touched the dead corpse of
the public credit, and it sprung upon its feet. --D.

2. Open to the knowledge or view of all; general; common;
notorious; as, public report; public scandal.

Joseph, . . . not willing to make her a public
example, was minded to put her away privily. --Matt.
i. 19.

3. Open to common or general use; as, a public road; a public
house. ``The public street.'' --Shak.

{Public act} or {statute} (Law), an act or statute affecting
matters of public concern. Of such statutes the courts
take judicial notice.

{Public credit}. See under {Credit}.

{Public funds}. See {Fund}, 3.

{Public house}, an inn, or house of entertainment.

{Public law}.
(a) See {International law}, under {International}.
(b) A public act or statute.

{Public nuisance}. (Law) See under {Nuisance}.

{Public orator}. (Eng. Universities) See {Orator}, 3.

{Public stores}, military and naval stores, equipments, etc.

{Public works}, all fixed works built by civil engineers for
public use, as railways, docks, canals, etc.; but
strictly, military and civil engineering works constructed
at the public cost.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: not private; open to or concerning the people as a whole;
"the public good"; "public libraries"; "public funds";
"public parks"; "a public scandal"; "public gardens";
"performers and members of royal families are public
figures" [ant: {private}]
2: affecting the people or community as a whole; "community
leaders"; "community interests"; "the public welfare"
[syn: {community(a)}]
n 1: people in general considered as a whole; "he is a hero in
the eyes of the public" [syn: {populace}, {world}]
2: a body of people sharing some common interest; "the reading

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