Dictionary.com

public domain

Save This Word!

noun Law.

the status of a literary work or an invention whose copyright or patent has expired or that never had such protection.
land owned by the government.

QUIZZES

THINK YOU’VE GOT A HANDLE ON THIS US STATE NICKNAME QUIZ?

Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Origin of public domain

An Americanism dating back to 1825–35

OTHER WORDS FROM public domain

pub·lic-do·main, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for public domain

British Dictionary definitions for public domain

public domain

noun

US lands owned by a state or by the federal government
the status of a published work or invention upon which the copyright or patent has expired or which has not been patented or subject to copyright. It may thus be freely used by the public
in the public domain able to be discussed and examined freely by the general public
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
See Today's Synonym