3 definitions found
From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) :

  Public \Pub"lic\, n.
     1. The general body of mankind, or of a nation, state, or
        community; the people, indefinitely; as, the American
        public; also, a particular body or aggregation of people;
        as, an author's public.
              The public is more disposed to censure than to
              praise.                               --Addison.
     2. A public house; an inn. [Scot.] --Sir W. Scott.
     In public, openly; before an audience or the people at
        large; not in private or secrecy. ``We are to speak in
        public.'' --Shak.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) :

  Public \Pub"lic\, a. [L. publicus, poblicus, fr. populus people:
     cf. F. public. See People.]
     1. Of or pertaining to the people; belonging to the people;
        relating to, or affecting, a nation, state, or community;
        -- opposed to private; as, the public treasury.
              To the public good Private respects must yield.
              He [Alexander Hamilton] touched the dead corpse of
              the public credit, and it sprung upon its feet. --D.
     2. Open to the knowledge or view of all; general; common;
        notorious; as, public report; public scandal.
              Joseph, . . . not willing to make her a public
              example, was minded to put her away privily. --Matt.
                                                    i. 19.
     3. Open to common or general use; as, a public road; a public
        house. ``The public street.'' --Shak.
     Public act or statute (Law), an act or statute affecting
        matters of public concern. Of such statutes the courts
        take judicial notice.
     Public credit. See under Credit.
     Public funds. See Fund, 3.
     Public house, an inn, or house of entertainment.
     Public law.
        (a) See International law, under International.
        (b) A public act or statute.
     Public nuisance. (Law) See under Nuisance.
     Public orator. (Eng. Universities) See Orator, 3.
     Public stores, military and naval stores, equipments, etc.
     Public works, all fixed works built by civil engineers for
        public use, as railways, docks, canals, etc.; but
        strictly, military and civil engineering works constructed
        at the public cost.

From WordNet (r) 1.6 :

       adj 1: not private; open to or concerning the people as a whole;
              "the public good"; "public libraries"; "public funds";
              "public parks"; "a public scandal"; "public gardens";
              "performers and members of royal families are public
              figures" [ant: private]
       2: affecting the people or community as a whole; "community
          leaders"; "community interests"; "the public welfare"
          [syn: community(a)]
       n 1: people in general considered as a whole; "he is a hero in
            the eyes of the public" [syn: populace, world]
       2: a body of people sharing some common interest; "the reading