Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of publican
Meaning of publican by Wiktionary Dictionary



    publican ( plural: publicans )

    1. ( UK ) the landlord of a public house
    2. a tax collector in ancient Rome

Explanation of publican by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. the keeper of a public house

    Definition of publican by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Publican 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.

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

      How like a fawning publican he looks! Shak.

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