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.

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.


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


© Webster 1913.