1. (in the U.S.) a school that is maintained at public expense for the education of the children of a community or district and that constitutes a part of a system of free public education commonly including primary and secondary schools.
2. (in England) any of a number of endowed secondary boarding schools that prepare students chiefly for the universities or for public service.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.