Of, concerning, or affecting the community or the people: the public good. Maintained for or used by the people or community: a public park. Capitalized in shares of stock that can be traded on the open market: a public company. Participated in or attended by the people or community: "Opinions are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate\u201d ( Hannah Arendt). Connected with or acting on behalf of the people, community, or government: public office. Enrolled in or attending a public school: transit passes for public students. Open to the knowledge or judgment of all: a public scandal. The community or the people as a whole. A group of people sharing a common interest: the reading public. Admirers or followers, especially of a famous person. See Usage Note at collective noun. go public To become publicly owned, by launching shares of stock onto the open market: The company went public after having been closely held for 12 years. 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. in public In such a way as to be visible to the scrutiny of the people: "A career is born in public\u2014talent in privacy\u201d ( Marilyn Monroe).