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public school,in the United States, a tax-supported elementary or high school open to anyone. In England the term was originally applied to grammar schools endowed for the use of the lay public; however, it has come to be used for the famous endowed preparatory schools that now charge tuition. The English public schools include Charterhouse, Cheltenham, Clifton, Eton, Harrow, Rugby, Westminster, and Winchester. See schoolschool,
term commonly referring to institutions of pre-college formal education. It also properly includes colleges, universities, and many types of special training establishments (see adult education; colleges and universities; community college; vocational education).
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See also V. Ogilvie, The English Public School (1957).
a private and privileged secondary school in Great Britain preserving aristocratic traditions. Most public schools are boarding schools. The most famous are the nine “great” aristocratic public schools: Winchester (founded 1387), Eton (1441), Shrewsbury (1551), Westminster (1566), Rugby (1567), Harrow (1571), St. Paul’s (16th century), Merchant Taylors School (16th century), and Charterhouse (1609).