from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Public service or a term of public service by an appointed or elected official.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The aspects of social life which are (happening in) public, in the open, as opposed to more private social interaction within families, private clubs etc.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • But Mr. Tazewell had the right to judge and decide for himself, and that he preferred private to public life is rather to be lamented than complained of.

    Discourse of the Life and Character of the Hon Littleton Waller Tazewell

  • In 1810 he became first Lord of the Admiralty under Spencer Perceval, with his younger brother Joseph as one of the Sea Lords, and retained office till Perceval's assassination broke up the ministry; and when in 1812 Lord Liverpool became Prime Minister he left the Admiralty and never afterwards returned to office, retiring from public life in 1818.

    Charles Philip Yorke, Fourth Earl of Hardwicke, Vice-Admiral R.N.

  • Miss Jane Addams, of Hull House, Chicago, seconded the nomination, praising Roosevelt as "one of the few men in our public life who has been responsive to modern movement."

    Theodore Roosevelt An Intimate Biography

  • The public life of Christ begins with this incident also known as the Disputation in the Temple.

    A Handbook of Symbols in Christian Art

  • Lumpkin served a few sessions in the Legislature, and retired from public life to devote his entire attention to his profession.

    The Memories of Fifty Years

  • Calvinism is distinguished from Lutheranism and Zwinglianism by a more rigid and consistent form of doctrine and by the strictness of its moral precepts, which regulate the whole domestic and public life of the citizen.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 12: Philip II-Reuss

  • He had been some twenty years in public life without his party being in power as many months, and since the party seemed now doomed, as indeed it was, to twenty years of opposition again, he turned to Lord Maitland and said, “Lord Maitland, if you want to be in office, if you have any ambition or wish to be successful in life, shake us off, give us up.”

    Life of Adam Smith

  • There was not a word of eulogy in the Times articles that was not under rather than over-stated, and reflecting thus I thought how rare it is in public life to have an occasion that justifies the best that can be said.

    The Life and Letters of Walter H Page

  • "Root," he said to me, "is the greatest intellectual force in American public life since Lincoln."

    Theodore Roosevelt An Intimate Biography

  • You'll find, Mr. Finn, that in public life there's nothing like having a horgan to back you.

    Phineas Finn


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