public


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Related to public: public library, Public holiday, Public TV

alert the public

To bring something to the attention of the public at large, especially as a warning of some kind. The purpose of her video was to alert the public to the risks of eating too much sugar. We want to alert the public that the business will be moving to a new location at the end of the month.
See also: alert, public

public display of affection

A physical act of intimacy between a romantic couple done in the view of others. Often shortened to the abbreviation "PDA." I really wish you didn't have such a hang-up over public displays of affection—no one cares if we have a quick kiss out in the open! When we go out, my girlfriend is always trying to hold my hand or kiss me, even though she knows that any public display of affection makes me uncomfortable. I don't mind PDAs in general, but teenagers take it way too far.
See also: display, of, public

the public weal

The common good of public society; the welfare of the general public. Having ousted the dictator from power, the new president has pledged to focus all his energy on the public weal.
See also: public, weal

air (one's) dirty laundry in public

To discuss very private, personal matters, especially that which may be embarrassing, in public or with other people. It always makes me uncomfortable when John starts going into all his personal problems whenever our friends get together. I just wish he wouldn't air his dirty laundry in public like that. People have an unnatural fixation on the personal lives of celebrities, but I don't see why they should be expected to air their dirty laundry in public.
See also: air, dirty, laundry, public

wash (one's) dirty linen in public

To discuss very private, personal matters, especially that which may be embarrassing, in public or with other people. It always makes me uncomfortable when John starts going into all his personal problems whenever our friends get together. I just wish he wouldn't wash his dirty linen in public like that. People have an unnatural fixation on the personal lives of celebrities, but I don't see why they should be expected to wash their dirty linen in public.
See also: dirty, linen, public, wash

make public

To announce or disseminate some information. Once this report is made public, I fear we'll all be under investigation.
See also: make, public

(one) does not wash (one's) dirty linen in public

One does not discuss very private, personal matters, especially those that may be embarrassing, in public or with other people. It always makes me uncomfortable when John starts going into all his personal problems whenever our friends get together. I do not wash my dirty linen in public, and I wish he wouldn't either! Kids, please don't say anything inappropriate in front of your grandmother—she definitely believes that one does not wash one's dirty linen in public.
See also: dirty, does, linen, not, public, wash

public eye

Attention from the general public. Typically used in the phrase "in the public eye." Famous actors really can't do much without being in the public eye—their every move is noticed and scrutinized. I'm pretty nervous because this is the first time I'll be in the public eye since that terrible news conference.
See also: eye, public

public intellectual

A celebrated academic or literary mind who puts forth views in a public forum or setting France in the early 20th-century was home to many renowned public intellectuals who often gathered and debated topics of the day.
See also: public

air one's dirty linen in public

 and wash one's dirty linen in public
Fig. to discuss private or embarrassing matters in public, especially when quarreling. (This linen refers to sheets and tablecloths or other soiled cloth.) They are arguing again. Why must they always air their dirty linen in public? She will talk to anyone about her problems. Why does she wash her dirty linen in public?
See also: air, dirty, linen, public

Do not wash your dirty linen in public.

Prov. Do not talk about your private family problems in public. Grandson: How are we going to make Dad stop drinking? Grandmother: Hush! Don't wash your dirty linen in public.
See also: dirty, linen, not, public, wash

go public

 (with something)
1. to sell to the public shares of a privately owned company. (Securities markets.) The company decided not to go public because the economy was so bad at the time. Well go public at a later time.
2. to reveal something to the public. It's too early to go public with the story. Just let me know when we can go public with this press release.
See also: public

in public

in a place or way so that other people can see or know about something. It's illegal to walk naked in public. John always tries to embarrass me whenever we're in public.
See also: public

*in the public eye

Fig. publicly; visible to all; conspicuous. (*Typically: be ~; find oneself ~; get [into] ~.) Elected officials find themselves constantly in the public eye. The mayor made it a practice to get into the public eye as much as possible.
See also: eye, public

take something public

 
1. to make something known to the public. You gotta take it publicput it on the streeteven when it's none of your business. Don't take it public. You'll just get talked about.
2. to sell shares in a company to the general public. (Securities markets.) The board decided not to take the company public. We're going to take it public whenever the market looks good.
See also: public, take

in the public eye

known and talked about by many people The former senator remained in the public eye even after retirement. We need to keep education in the public eye if we want support for improvements in our schools.
Usage notes: the opposite meaning is expressed by out of the public eye: Illness kept the actor out of the public eye for eighteen months.
See also: eye, public

go public

to become a company in which anyone can invest It's the latest Internet company to go public and then immediately go bankrupt.
See also: public

go public (with something)

to make something known that was secret before If she goes public with her story, the school's reputation will suffer.
See also: public

wash your dirty laundry/linen in public

  (British & Australian) also air your dirty laundry/linen in public (American & Australian)
to talk to other people about personal things that you should keep private I was brought up to believe that it was wrong to wash your dirty linen in public.
See play dirty, talk dirty
See also: dirty, laundry, public, wash

Joe Public

  (British informal)
the public The test of any new product is will Joe Public buy it?
See also: joe, public

John Doe

  (American)
a man or boy whose real name must be kept secret or is not known, especially in a court of law The patient was referred to in court documents as John Doe.
See also: doe, john

John Q Public

  (American humorous)
the public You have to ask yourself what John Q Public will think when he hears about the government overspending.
See also: john, public

be in the public eye

if someone is in the public eye, they are famous and are written about in newspapers and magazines and seen on television It's not always easy being in the public eye.
See also: eye, public

public enemy number one

someone or something that many people do not like or approve of Inflation has been public enemy number one for this government.
See also: enemy, number, one, public

go public

Become a publicly held company, that is, issue ownership shares in the form of stock. For example, As soon as the company grows a little bigger and begins to show a profit, we intend to go public . [Mid-1900s]
See also: public

in public

Openly, open to public view or access. For example, They've never appeared together in public. [c. 1450] For an antonym, see in private.
See also: public

in the public eye

Under the attention and scrutiny of the public, as in The rock star's activities were very much in the public eye. This usage, which is similar to in the limelight, dates from the late 1800s. It should not be confused with the similar-sounding in the eyes of the public, which means "in the opinion or views of the general public" (as in In the eyes of the public the mayor was guilty of perjury). Also see in the eye of, def. 2.
See also: eye, public

John Doe

1. Also, John Q. Public; Joe Blow; Joe Doakes; Joe Zilch. An average undistinguished man; also, the average citizen. For example, This television show is just right for a John Doe, or It's up to John Q. Public to go to the polls and vote. Originally used from the 13th century on legal documents as an alias to protect a witness, John Doe acquired the sense of "ordinary person" in the 1800s. The variants date from the 1900s. Also see Joe six-pack.
2. Also, Jane Doe. An unknown individual, as in The police found a John Doe lying on the street last night, or The judge issued a warrant for the arrest of the perpetrators, Jane Doe no. 1 and Jane Doe no. 2 . [Second half of 1900s]
See also: doe, john

John Q. Public

see under John Doe.
See also: john, public

wash one's dirty linen in public

Also air one's dirty linen or laundry . Expose private matters to public view, especially unsavory secrets. These metaphors are reworkings of a French proverb, Il faut laver son linge sale en famille ("One should wash one's dirty linen at home"), which was quoted by Napoleon on his return from Elba (1815). It was first recorded in English in 1867.
See also: dirty, linen, public, wash

go public

1. in. to sell to the public shares of a privately owned company. (Securities markets.) We’ll go public at a later time.
2. in. to reveal something to the public. (Especially with with, as in the examples.) Just let me know when we can go public with this.
See also: public

John Doe

and Jane Doe (ˈdʒɑn ˈdo)
n. a name used for a person whose real name is unknown. The tag on the corpse said Jane Doe, since no one had identified her. John Doe was the name at the bottom of the check.
See also: doe, john

take something public

1. tv. to make something known to the public. You gotta take it public—put it on the street—even when it’s none of your business. Don’t take it public. You’ll just get talked about.
2. tv. to sell shares in a company to the general public. (Securities markets.) We’re going to take it public whenever the market looks good.
See also: public, take

in the public eye

1. Frequently seen in public or in the media.
2. Widely publicized; well-known.
See also: eye, public

go public with

Informal
To reveal to the public a previously unknown or secret piece of information: The president finally had to go public with the scandal.
See also: public

in public

In such a way as to be visible to the scrutiny of the people: "A career is born in public—talent in privacy" (Marilyn Monroe).
See also: public
References in classic literature ?
To confess the truth, it was my greatest apprehension -- as it would never be a measure of policy to turn out so quiet an individual as myself; and it being hardly in the nature of a public officer to resign -- it was my chief trouble, therefore, that I was likely to grow grey and decrepit in the Surveyorship, and become much such another animal as the old Inspector.
Meanwhile, the press had taken up my affair, and kept me for a week or two careering through the public prints, in my decapitated state, like Irving's Headless Horseman, ghastly and grim, and longing to be buried, as a political dead man ought.
Some of the briefer articles, which contribute to make up the volume, have likewise been written since my involuntary withdrawal from the toils and honours of public life, and the remainder are gleaned from annuals and magazines, of such antique date, that they have gone round the circle, and come back to novelty again.
Indeed, there is much more to be said in favour of the physical force of the public than there is in favour of the public's opinion.
The fact is, that the public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.
However, let us leave what is really a very sordid side of the subject, and return to the question of popular control in the matter of Art, by which I mean Public Opinion dictating to the artist the form which he is to use, the mode in which he is to use it, and the materials with which he is to work.
To certain theatres, such as the Lyceum and the Haymarket, the public seem to come in a proper mood.
But one man was killed on the same occasion; and from the very window whence he received his death, the very flag which shielded his murderer (not only in the commission of his crime, but from its consequences), was displayed again on the occasion of the public ceremony performed by the Governor General, to which I have just adverted.
There were Catholic Priests and Sisters of Charity in the village streets; and images of the Saviour at the corners of cross-roads, and in other public places.
The city is rich in public institutions and in Catholic churches and charities, but it is mainly in the prospect from the site of the Old Government House, and from the Citadel, that its surpassing beauty lies.
Because the Circumlocution Office was down upon any ill-advised public servant who was going to do it, or who appeared to be by any surprising accident in remote danger of doing it, with a minute, and a memorandum, and a letter of instructions that extinguished him.
and they had better have had wrongs at first, than have taken that bitter English recipe for certainly getting them), who in slow lapse of time and agony had passed safely through other public departments; who, according to rule, had been bullied in this, over-reached by that, and evaded by the other; got referred at last to the Circumlocution Office, and never reappeared in the light of day.
They were dispersed all over the public offices, and held all sorts of public places.
For now that the schools are gone, and the regular sight-seers exhausted,' said Mrs Jarley, 'we come to the General Public, and they want stimulating.
Upon the following day at noon, Mrs Jarley established herself behind the highly-ornamented table, attended by the distinguished effigies before mentioned, and ordered the doors to be thrown open for the readmission of a discerning and enlightened public.