Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

public - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     public pronunciation in American English
  1. the public

    people in general

    The house was opened to the public in the 1950s.

    The regulations should be written in plain English that the public understands.

    the general public:

    Misconceptions about mental illness are common among the general public.

    a member of the public:

    The police should be trained to deal politely with members of the public.

    1. a.
      people of a particular type
      the British/American etc. public:

      It is clear that the attack did not have the support of the American public.

      the traveling/book-buying etc. public:

      The decision to add more flights at the airport was not in the best interests of the traveling public.

quiz invitation

gig economy

an employment concept in which people are paid for each specific, short-term task that they do and don't have conventional contracts of employment

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

fake news

a sensational piece of news which does not map to reality, created to attract attention or damage somebody's reputation

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play