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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.



public adj

1 a : exposed to general view [ indecency]
b : known or recognized by many or most people
2 a : of, relating to, or affecting all of the people or the whole area of a nation or state [ statutes]
b : of or relating to a government
: authorized by, administered by, or acting for the people as a political entity [ expenditures] [the prosecutor]
c : of, relating to, or being in the service of the community or nation [holding office]
d : provided for, used by, or containing the records of a government agency [the post office and other buildings]
3 : of or relating to people in general
4 : of or relating to business or community interests as opposed to private affairs [ policy] [a matter of concern]
5 : devoted to the general or national welfare [actions motivated by spirit]
6 : accessible to or shared by all members of the community [a hearing] [a park] compare private
7 : capitalized in shares that can be freely traded on the open market often used with go
pub·lic·ly adv

n 1 : a place accessible or visible to the public usually used in the phrase in public
2 : the people as a whole

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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