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public utility

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noun
  1. a business enterprise, as a public-service corporation, performing an essential public service and regulated by the federal, state, or local government.Compare utility(def 3).
  2. Usually public utilities. stocks or bonds of public-utility companies, excluding railroads.
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Origin of public utility

First recorded in 1900–05
Related formspub·lic-u·til·i·ty, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for public utility

Historical Examples

  • In regard to the former, it may be said at once that public-utility bonds do not meet the necessary conditions.

    How to Invest Money

    George Garr Henry

  • In general, it is certainly more difficult to dispose of public-utility bonds than railroad bonds.

    How to Invest Money

    George Garr Henry

  • As a class they yield more than government or municipal bonds, and less than public-utility or industrial bonds.

    How to Invest Money

    George Garr Henry

  • They form a class quite distinct from railroad bonds or public-utility bonds.

    How to Invest Money

    George Garr Henry

  • The term "public-utility company" denotes a private corporation supplying public needs under authority of a public franchise.

    How to Invest Money

    George Garr Henry


British Dictionary definitions for public utility

public utility

noun
  1. an enterprise concerned with the provision to the public of essentials, such as electricity or waterAlso called (US): public-service corporation
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

public utility in Culture

public utility

A private company supplying water, gas, electricity, telephone service, or the like, which is granted a monopoly by the government and then regulated by the government.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.