1. (noun) A group that shares a common idea, interest or ideology.
Example: The viewing public in relation to television watching.
2. (noun) The group affected by a policy.
Example: Students that must pay a tuition increase.
3. (noun) A community or people in general.
Example: The residents of a city.
4. (adjective) Concerning or relating to people considered as whole.
Example: The public at large or the public good.
5. (adjective) Accessible and open to all people.
Example: A public forum or public gardens.
Audio Pronunciation: (pub·lic)
Download Audio Pronunciation: public.mp3
- Plural: publics
Abercrombie, Nicholas, Stephen Hill, and Bryan Turner. 2006. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 5th ed. London: Penguin.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Bruce, Steve, and Steven Yearley. 2006. The SAGE Dictionary of Sociology. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.
Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Jary, David, and Julia Jary. 2000. Collins Dictionary of Sociology. 3rd ed. Glasgow, Scotland: HarperCollins.
Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.
Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.
Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Turner, Bryan S., ed. 2006. The Cambridge Dictionary of Sociology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
How to Cite the Definition of Public
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “public.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved January 20, 2019 (http://sociologydictionary.org/public/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
public. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/public/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “public.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed January 20, 2019. http://sociologydictionary.org/public/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“public.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 20 Jan. 2019. <http://sociologydictionary.org/public/>.