publish, issue, release


Senior Member
Hi, guys,

Some meanings of the word 'publish, issue, release' just look the same. For example:
(All the following sentences are from the most authoritative English dictionaries.)

Cambridge: She agreed not to publish the names of the people involved.
Webster: The police will not release the names of the teenagers involved in the robbery.

Longman: The latest unemployment figures will be published tomorrow.
Longman: The new trade figures have just been released.

Oxford: The minister issued a statement to the press.
Cambridge: The minister has released a statement explaining the reasons for his resignation.

What's the difference between them under this kind of meaning? How can I use them idiomatically?

  • expenseroso

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    I would say that publish refers to actually committing something to print for public consumption. The police release the names and the newspaper publishes the names. This isn't always the case though--they are often used completely interchangeably.


    Senior Member
    England English
    Published = to make information widely available to the public. This is usually done by a firm, a 'publishing house', such as the Oxford University Press in England. Newspapers and books are published. [Note: This was cross-posted with the previous post. I don't think publication has to mean printing. For instance, in the Church of England the banns of marriage are 'published' by being announced by clergy during a church service].
    Released = to make available to the public. This word usually indicates that the released material has been prepared and assessed (perhaps from the legal point of view) to ensure that it is fit to be read. For instance the information may have been subject to a legal embargo on publication for a period of many years.
    Issued = This indicates that material has been made available with the consent of an individual or authority. In the case of a bereaved family, for instance, a lawyer may 'issue a statement' on their behalf.


    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    'Publish' can also mean 'make something public' (announce) without it being necessarily printed/written.

    [Cross-posted with Elwintee.]


    Senior Member
    Things don't have to be "printed" to be published because after all, you can publish something on a website just as well as in a newspaper or magazine. The difference between released and published is basically one of intent. When you release something, you make it available to the media and the public. When you publish it, you disseminate it. Think of releasing as saying "Here it is. Do what you want with it." Think of publishing as saying "We have collected this information for you. Read it."
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