Meaning of public utility

pub'lic util'ity

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a business enterprise, as a public-service corporation, performing an essential public service and regulated by the federal, state, or local government. Cf.(def. 3).
  2. Usually,stocks or bonds of public-utility companies, excluding railroads.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.