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A public house, usually known as a pub, is a drinking establishment found mainly in Britain, Ireland, Australia, and other countries influenced by an English cultural heritage. A pub which offers accommodation may be called an inn or hostelry.

Public houses are culturally, socially and traditionally different from other places found elsewhere in the world such as caf├ęs, bars, bierkellers and brewpubs. Colloquialisms for the public house include boozer, the local and rub-a-dub-dub (see Cockney Rhyming Slang).

Pubs are social places for the sale and consumption of mainly alcoholic beverages, and most public houses offer a wide range of beers, wines, spirits and alcopops. Beer served in a pub can range from pressurised "keg" beer, to "cask" beer brewed in the time-honoured fashion in wooden barrels or casks. The beer lends most pubs a pleasant, memorable aroma. Often the windows of the pub are of smoked or frosted glass so that the clientele are obscured from the street.

The owner or manager (licensee) of a public house is known as the publican, and may be referred to as "guv" (short for guv'nor, or governor) in some parts of the country. Each pub generally has a crowd of regulars, people who drink there on a regular basis. The pub people visit most often is called their local. In many cases, this will be the pub nearest to their home, but some people choose their local for other reasons: proximity to work, a traditional venue for their friends, the availability of real ale, or maybe just a pool table.

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