in a public or open manner or place.
by the public.
in the name of the community.
by public action or consent.

Origin of publicly

First recorded in 1925–30; public + -ly Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for publicly

openly, honestly, plainly, aboveboard

Examples from the Web for publicly

Contemporary Examples of publicly

Historical Examples of publicly

  • "Some slaves have been publicly registered as adopted children," said Eudora.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • At length, carried away by impatience, I reprimanded him publicly.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The Caucasian God was taken out of His pigeon-hole and publicly recognised.

  • "Do not take me publicly through the streets," said Arthur to his keepers.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • How will you do that, now that they are publicly entered upon?

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for publicly



in a public manner; without concealment; openly
in the name or with the consent of the 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

Word Origin and History for publicly

1560s, "in public," from public (adj.) + -ly (2). From 1580s as "by the public." Variant publically is attested from 1812, perhaps based on the fact that publicly is the only exception in this class of words, which as a rule are spelled -ically though often they are pronounced otherwise.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper