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).
Usually public utilities. stocks or bonds of public-utility companies, excluding railroads.
Origin of public utility
First recorded in 1900–05Related formspub·lic-u·til·i·ty, adjective
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Examples from the Web for public utility
Historical Examples of public utility
In general, it is certainly more difficult to dispose of public-utility bonds than railroad bonds.
In regard to the former, it may be said at once that public-utility bonds do not meet the necessary conditions.
As a class they yield more than government or municipal bonds, and less than public-utility or industrial bonds.
They form a class quite distinct from railroad bonds or public-utility bonds.
The term "public-utility company" denotes a private corporation supplying public needs under authority of a public franchise.
British Dictionary definitions for public utility
an enterprise concerned with the provision to the public of essentials, such as electricity or waterAlso called (US): public-service corporation
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
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.
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.