Definitions

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

  • n. An elementary or secondary school in the United States supported by public funds and providing free education for children of a community or district.
  • n. A private boarding school in Great Britain for pupils between the ages of 13 and 18.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fee-charging private or independent school.
  • n. A publicly administered school.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • In Great Britain, any of various schools maintained by the community, wholly or partly under public control, or maintained largely by endowment and not carried on chiefly for profit; specif., and commonly, any of various select and usually expensive endowed schools which give a liberal modern education or prepare pupils for the universities. Eton, Harrow, Rugby, and Winchester are of this class.
  • In the United States, a free primary, grammar, or high school maintained by the local government.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a tuition free school in the United States supported by taxes and controlled by a school board
  • n. private independent secondary school in Great Britain supported by endowment and tuition

Etymologies

From public (in the English sense, "open to all members of a community"; in the North American/Australian sense, "carried out or funded by the state on behalf of the people") + school. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • While a large number of the children enrolled in the public school dual-language programs are French, the programs also cater to children of other Francophone immigrants from countries like Switzerland, Canada and Senegal.

    Learning to Be French in Brooklyn

  • The classroom in Japan is located in a small-city public school with no special distinctions.

    The Teaching Gap

  • When he was seven years old, Matt was placed in a public school class for multihandicapped children, a cozy nest of eight such mysterious ducklings with a teacher and two aides.

    Life As We Know It

  • The most powerful segments of the show were the interviews with parents who described how their children had been left in near-comatose states after receiving a vaccine that was mandatory for public school children in the vast majority of states.

    The Panic Virus

  • Joseph John outgrew the classes at the Zion Academy long ago and had attended public school since he was twelve.

    Keep Sweet

  • Next to the bar, the rest of The Crew has cornered a young public school girl on the dance floor.

    After Hours

  • New Orleans used its share to create its public school system, but Baltimore, which already had public schools, and was starting to benefit from the contributions of Pratt, Walters, and Peabody, founded McDonogh in 1873 for orphan boys.

    Surrender is not an Option

  • In contrast, she extrapolates from a national survey conducted for the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation in 2000 that roughly 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse by a public school employee between 1991 and 2000.

    HOW EVIL WORKS

  • And once a week he went to public school for a half day, an arrangement his father had agreed upon with the prophet, so that Joseph John could do his fair share of work in the community.

    Keep Sweet

  • In recent years it has been managed by the Board of County Commissioners, and the income applied to the public school fund.

    The Beginnings of Public Education in North Carolina; A Documentary History, 1790-1840. Vol. I

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