Publican


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

PUBLICAN, civil law. A farmer of the public revenue; one who held a lease of some property from the public treasury. Dig. 39, 4, 1, 1; Id. 39, 4, 12, 3; Id. 39, 4, 13.

References in classic literature ?
The publican was fighting one of the smiths at the door, and when the workmen came out the smith, wrenching himself free from the tavern keeper, fell face downward on the pavement.
Another smith tried to enter the doorway, pressing against the publican with his chest.
That's Tulliver's son," said the publican to a grocer standing on the adjacent door-step.
It was with the utmost difficulty they could be extricated from the clutches of the publicans and the embraces of their pot companions, who followed them to the water's edge with many a hug, a kiss on each cheek, and a maudlin benediction in Canadian French.
And to be sure it is very hard upon us to be obliged to pay them, and to keep 'um too, as we publicans are.
In jumping at Publicans and Sinners they would forget that a word might be said for the worries of Scribes and Pharisees; and this defect or limitation might have recommended their own daughter-in-law to them at this moment as a fairly choice sort of lost person for their love.
Bulstrode's close attention was not agreeable to the publicans and sinners in Middlemarch; it was attributed by some to his being a Pharisee, and by others to his being Evangelical.
A shilling's worth a quarter; but keep your lamps out for thruppenny-bits, or the publicans 'll shove 'em on you for sixpence.
Now, Mrs Varden, regarding the Maypole as a sort of human mantrap, or decoy for husbands; viewing its proprietor, and all who aided and abetted him, in the light of so many poachers among Christian men; and believing, moreover, that the publicans coupled with sinners in Holy Writ were veritable licensed victuallers; was far from being favourably disposed towards her visitor.
After his return he called Matthew from the receipt of customs, performed some cures, and created scandal by eating with publicans and sinners.
The traveller who stops at the best houses, so called, soon discovers this, for the publicans presume him to be a Sardanapalus, and if he resigned himself to their tender mercies he would soon be completely emasculated.
Preparations were in progress for a moral little Mill somewhere on the rural circuit, and other Professors were backing this or that Heavy-Weight as good for such or such speech-making hits, so very much after the manner of the sporting publicans, that the intended Resolutions might have been Rounds.