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4 definitions found

From: DICT.TW English-Chinese Dictionary 英漢字典

 pub·li·can /ˈpʌblɪkən/

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Pub·li·can n.
 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.
 2. The keeper of an inn or public house; one licensed to retail beer, spirits, or wine.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

      n : the keeper of a public house [syn: tavern keeper]

From: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

    one who farmed the taxes (e.g., Zacchaeus, Luke 19:2) to be
    levied from a town or district, and thus undertook to pay to the
    supreme government a certain amount. In order to collect the
    taxes, the publicans employed subordinates (5:27; 15:1; 18:10),
    who, for their own ends, were often guilty of extortion and
    peculation. In New Testament times these taxes were paid to the
    Romans, and hence were regarded by the Jews as a very heavy
    burden, and hence also the collectors of taxes, who were
    frequently Jews, were hated, and were usually spoken of in very
    opprobrious terms. Jesus was accused of being a "friend of
    publicans and sinners" (Luke 7:34).