[ puhb-lik ]
/ ˈpʌb lɪk /



Nearby words

  1. pubic region,
  2. pubic symphysis,
  3. pubiotomy,
  4. pubis,
  5. publ.,
  6. public access,
  7. public accountant,
  8. public act,
  9. public address system,
  10. public administration


Origin of public

1400–50; < Latin pūblicus (earlier pōblicus, pōplicus, akin to populus people); replacing late Middle English publique < Middle French < Latin, as above

Related forms
Can be confusedpubic public Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for in public


/ (ˈpʌblɪk) /



the community or people in general
a part or section of the community grouped because of a common interest, activity, etcthe racing public

Word Origin for public

C15: from Latin pūblicus, changed from pōplicus of the people, from populus people

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

Word Origin and History for in public
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with in public

in public

Openly, open to public view or access. For example, They've never appeared together in public. [c. 1450] For an antonym, see in private.


see go public; in public; in the public eye; John Doe (Q. Public); wash one's dirty linen in public.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.