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1. Of, concerning, or affecting the community or the people: the public good.
2. Maintained for or used by the people or community: a public park.
3. Capitalized in shares of stock that can be traded on the open market: a public company; took the company public.
4. Participated in or attended by the people or community: "Opinions are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate" (Hannah Arendt).
5. Connected with or acting on behalf of the people, community, or government: public office.
6. Enrolled in or attending a public school: transit passes for public students.
7. Open to the knowledge or judgment of all: a public scandal.
1. The community or the people as a whole.
2. A group of people sharing a common interest: the reading public.
3. Admirers or followers, especially of a famous person. See Usage Note at collective noun.
go public with Informal
To reveal to the public a previously unknown or secret piece of information: The president finally had to go public with the scandal.
in public
In such a way as to be visible to the scrutiny of the people: "A career is born in public—talent in privacy" (Marilyn Monroe).

[Middle English publik, from Old French public, from Latin pūblicus, alteration (influenced by pūbēs, adult population) of poplicus, from populus, people, of Etruscan origin.]

pub′lic·ness n.


the state of being public or acceptable
References in periodicals archive ?
Alexander, Property's Ends: The Publicness of Private Law Values, 99 IOWA L.
Using this distinction, it is useful to consider how government provides recognition across foundation types and indirectly suggests gradations of publicness.
A Critical Survey of the Demand Estimates for Local Public Services, 54 Finanzarchiv 374 (1997) (surveying the literature that investigates the publicness of government-provided services and finding that such public goods are so crowded they are essentially like private goods); Albert Sole-Olle & Nuria Bosch, On the Relationship Between Authority Size and the Costs of Providing Local Services: Lessons for the Design of Intergovernmental Transfers in Spain, 33 Pub.
319, 354 (2009) ("Where the norm- generation or norm-acceptance is only shakily related to the will of states, a relevant factor for outsiders in deciding what weight to give to the norm may be the ways in which it was produced, that is adherence to standards of publicness and desiderata of GAL.
Publicness and visibility of the Wall were the best guarantee for its renewal and protection.
Dimensions of Publicness and Performance in Substance Abuse Treatment Organizations.
The Classical-Liberal Calculus of Publicness and Privateness
As Virno suggests, "if the publicness of the intellect does not yield to the realm of a public sphere, of a political space in which the many can tend to common affairs, then it produces terrifying effects.
As such, what was once esoteric, magic, secret, withdrawn, hidden, unpublic, may actually have become--through resistance to the instrumentalization of knowledge in the service of the ethos of transactions--the space of possible freedom and of a renewed publicness.
Using z [member of] [0, 1] to measure the degree of publicness of the rent and assuming that an equal-sharing rule is applied to distribute the rival part of the rent within a group, a generic member of group D [of group A] earns a benefit of
The daim of a particular publicness to shopping malls by the youth of the focus group and thus the public-private dichotomy is also examined.
The size, the very publicness and, often, the controversy that surrounds public sculpture make some eyesores almost impossible to avoid.