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pub·lic / ˈpəblik/ • adj. 1. of or concerning the people as a whole: public concern public affairs. ∎  open to or shared by all the people of an area or country: a public library. ∎  of or provided by the government rather than an independent, commercial company: public spending. ∎  of or involved in the affairs of the community, esp. in government: his public career was destroyed by tenacious reporters. ∎  known to many people; famous: a public figure. 2. done, perceived, or existing in open view: he wanted a public apology in the Wall Street Journal we should talk somewhere less public. 3. Brit. of, for, or acting for a university: public examination results. • n. (the public) [treated as sing. or pl.] ordinary people in general; the community: the library is open to the public the public has made an informed choice. ∎  a section of the community having a particular interest or connection: the reading public. ∎  (one's public) the people who watch or are interested in an artist, writer, or performer: some famous last words to give my public. PHRASES: go public 1. become a public company. 2. reveal details about a previously private concern: Bates went public with the news at a press conference. in public in view of other people; when others are present: men don't cry in public. the public eye the state of being known or of interest to people in general, esp. through the media: the pressures of being constantly in the public eye. ORIGIN: late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin publicus, blend of poplicus ‘of the people’ (from populus ‘people’) and pubes ‘adult.’

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publicbathypelagic, magic, tragic •neuralgic, nostalgic •lethargic, Tajik •Belgic •paraplegic, quadriplegic, strategic •dialogic, ethnologic, hydrologic, isagogic, logic, monologic, mythologic, pathologic, pedagogic, teleologic •georgic • muzhik •allergic, dramaturgic •anarchic, heptarchic, hierarchic, monarchic, oligarchic •psychic • sidekick • dropkick •synecdochic • Turkic •Alec, cephalic, encephalic, Gallic, intervallic, italic, medallic, mesocephalic, metallic, phallic, Salic, tantalic, Uralic, Vandalic •catlick • garlic •angelic, archangelic, evangelic, melic, melick, philatelic, psychedelic, relic •Ehrlich • Gaelic •acrylic, bibliophilic, Cyrillic, dactylic, exilic, idyllic, imbecilic, necrophilic •niblick • skinflick •acyclic, cyclic, polycyclic •alcoholic, anabolic, apostolic, bucolic, carbolic, chocoholic, colic, diabolic, embolic, frolic, hydraulic, hyperbolic, melancholic, metabolic, parabolic, rollick, shambolic, shopaholic, symbolic, vitriolic, workaholic •saltlick • cowlick • souslik • gemütlich •public • Catholic

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public pert. to the people or to a community as a whole XV; sb. in p. XV; the state or commonwealth; the community as a whole XVII; short for p. house (XVII), i.e. of entertainment XVIII. — (O)F. public, -ique or L. pūblicus, based on pūbēs ‘adult’ with crossing from poplicus, f. populus PEOPLE; see -IC.
So publican tax-gatherer XII; keeper of a public house XVIII. — (O)F. publicain — L. pūblicānus orig. farmer general of the revenues, f. pūblicum public revenue, sb. use of n. of pūblicus. publicist one learned in international law XVIII; political journalist XIX; publicity agent XX. — F., f. L. (jūs) pūblicum public law. publicity being open to public observation XVIII; making things public XX. — F. publicize XX.

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public public enemy number one a person who poses the greatest threat to the welfare or security of a community or nation; (especially in the US), the first on a list of notorious wanted criminals. The term is first recorded in the Chicago Tribune in 1931 in reference to Al Capone.
the public eye the state of being known or of interest to people in general, especially through the media.

See also Joe Public, one does not wash one's dirty linen in public.

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As a noun, the whole body politic, or the aggregate of the citizens of a state, nation, or municipality. The community at large, without reference to the geographical limits of any corporation like a city, town, or county; the people.

As an adjective, open to all; notorious. Open to common use. Belonging to the people at large; relating to or affecting the whole people of a state, nation, or community; not limited or restricted to any particular class of the community.

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the community; the people, 1611.

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