Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR PUBLIC

The public road was thronged with people on their way to Olympia.

The public offices at Albany were finished shortly after my arrival.

You will never find us taking advantage of the necessities of the public.

His forte was not in public speaking, but he hoped they would take the will for the deed.

The Legislature is the watchful guardian over the public purse.

Wastefulness, profligacy, or favoritism in public expenditures is criminal.

It is the constitutional method of ascertaining the public will.

Division on public questions can no longer be traced by the war maps of 1861.

The only constitutional tax is the tax which ministers to public necessity.

But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending.

WORD ORIGIN

late 14c., "open to general observation," from Old French public (c.1300) and directly from Latin publicus "of the people; of the state; done for the state," also "common, general, public; ordinary, vulgar," and as a noun, "a commonwealth; public property," altered (probably by influence of Latin pubes "adult population, adult") from Old Latin poplicus "pertaining to the people," from populus "people" (see people (n.)).

Early 15c. as "pertaining to the people." From late 15c. as "pertaining to public affairs;" meaning "open to all in the community" is from 1540s in English. An Old English adjective in this sense was folclic. Public relations first recorded 1913 (after an isolated use by Thomas Jefferson in 1807).

Public office "position held by a public official" is from 1821; public service is from 1570s; public interest from 1670s. Public-spirited is from 1670s. Public enemy is attested from 1756. Public sector attested from 1949.

Public school is from 1570s, originally, in Britain, a grammar school endowed for the benefit of the public, but most have evolved into boarding-schools for the well-to-do. The main modern meaning in U.S., "school (usually free) provided at public expense and run by local authorities," is attested from 1640s. For public house, see pub.

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR PUBLIC

Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.