WOTW: public

| - Tim Lake |

triplo word of the week - public

“Public” is often an adjective but sometimes a noun too. It has some different uses all with a similar meaning. Let’s find out.


The main meaning of the adjective “public” is something that is of or concerns the people as while, or shared and open to all people.


+ There is no public library in this village anymore.

+ The building was closed in the interests of public safety.

+ Smoking was banned in public places out of concern for public health.

+ The local council is holding an open public meeting tonight.

+ The public roads have been cleared of snow, but more is forecast.

+ The scandal forced him to withdraw from public life.


Another related meaning of the adjective “public” is something done, seen or existing in view of everyone.


+ They demanded he made a public apology.

+ We should discuss this somewhere less public.

+ Since the vote, public discourse has become bitter.

+ He has a plan, but it is not one he has laid open for public view or discussion.


A further meaning of the adjective “public” is something done by the state or government not by a private company.


+ The party vowed to improve public services.

+ They want to end privatisation and bring the services back to public ownership.

+ It might be better to go to a private clinic, rather than a public hospital.

+ Although the buildings are private they are being built with public funds.


The noun is “the public” and means ordinary people in general.


+ The public have a right to know how the government spent the money.

+ The library is open to the general public.

+ Scientists often find it hard to explain their findings to the public.

+ The general public are almost completely unaware of this important research.

+ They made an appeal on TV and asked the public for help.


There are couple of useful phrases too. “Go public” means become a public company with stocks and shares sold on the stock market.


+ The plan was always for the company to go public.

+ The share price sank immediately after the company went public.


“In public” means when other people are around or in view of other people.


+ Men don’t cry in public.

+ She hasn`t been seen in public for many years.

+ What politicians say in public and what they do in private are quite different.


The pronunciation is / ˈpʌblɪk /.


This word is in the New General Service List, a list of the 3,000 most common words in English communication. You can get the full list on our website by clicking here.


この単語は、英語で最もよく使われる3,000の単語のリストであるNew General Service Listからのものです。完全なリストはこちらから。



071322-public.pdf (97.3 KiB)