Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913 + 1828)
result(s) from the 1913
Pub"li*can (?), n. [L. publicanus: cf. F. publicain. See Public.]
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!
2. The keeper of an inn or public house; one licensed to retail beer, spirits, or wine.
result(s) from the 1828
PUB''LICAN, n. [L.publicanus, from publicus.]1. A collector of toll or tribute. Among the Romans, a publican was a farmer of the taxes and public revenues,and the inferior officers of this class were deemed oppressive. As Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. Matt.9.2. The keeper of a public house; an innkeeper.