public school(redirected from American public schools)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Private school, non-state school; a term used in the UK for a private, often very selective school which generally caters to the upper class. The term was first used by Eton College in the UK, and referred to the fact that it was open to the paying public, as opposed to a religious school, which was open only to members of a certain church. It also distinguished it from a private education at home (usually only the choice of the very wealthy who could afford private tutors). While public schools were traditionally single-sex boarding schools, many now accept day pupils and accept girls for sixth-form studies. Most date back to the 18th or 19th centuries.
A school open to the public and paid for by public funds.