Publican Pub"li*can, n. [L. publicanus: cf. F. publicain. See {Public}.] 1. (Rom. Antiq.) A farmer of the taxes and public revenues; hence, a collector of toll or tribute. The inferior officers of this class were often oppressive in their exactions, and were regarded with great detestation. [1913 Webster]

As Jesus at meat . . . many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. --Matt. 1x. 10. [1913 Webster]

How like a fawning publican he looks! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. The keeper of an inn or public house; one licensed to retail beer, spirits, or wine. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Publican — • A member or employee of the Roman financial companies who collected the taxes. Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Publican     Publican      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • publican — PUBLICÁN, publicani, s.m. Persoană care strângea impozitele la romani. – Din lat. publicanus. Trimis de oprocopiuc, 24.04.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  publicán s. m. (sil. bli ), pl. publicáni Trimis de siveco, 10.08.2004. Sursa: Dicţionar ortografic … …   Dicționar Român

  • publican — (n.) c.1200, tax gatherer, from O.Fr. publician (12c.), from L. publicanus a tax collector, originally an adjective, pertaining to public revenue, from publicum public revenue, noun use of neuter of publicus (see PUBLIC (Cf. public)). Original… …   Etymology dictionary

  • publican — ► NOUN 1) Brit. a person who owns or manages a pub. 2) Austral. a person who owns or manages a hotel. 3) (in ancient Roman and biblical times) a tax collector. ORIGIN Latin publicanus, from publicum public revenue …   English terms dictionary

  • publican — [pub′li kən] n. [ME < L publicanus < publicus: see PUBLIC] 1. in ancient Rome, a collector of public revenues, tolls, etc. 2. Brit. a saloonkeeper; innkeeper …   English World dictionary

  • Publican — In antiquity, publicans (Latin publicanus (singular); publicani (plural)) were public contractors, in which role they often supplied the Roman legions and military, managed the collection of port duties, and oversaw public building projects. In… …   Wikipedia

  • publican — UK [ˈpʌblɪkən] / US noun [countable] Word forms publican : singular publican plural publicans British someone who owns or manages a pub …   English dictionary

  • publican — noun a) the landlord of a public house I went into a public ouse to get a pint o beer, b) a tax collector in ancient Rome The publican e up an sez, We serve no red coats here …   Wiktionary

  • publican — [12] The modern use of publican for ‘innkeeper’ dates from the early 18th century, and presumably arose from an association with public house. Its original meaning was ‘tax collector’. It comes via Old French publicain from Latin pūblicānus… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

  • publican — [[t]pʌ̱blɪkən[/t]] publicans N COUNT A publican is a person who owns or manages a pub. [BRIT, FORMAL] Syn: landlady, landlord …   English dictionary

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