The public part of an asymmetric key pair that is typically used to verify signatures or encrypt data.
SOURCE: FIPS 201; SP 800-63
A cryptographic key, used with a public key cryptographic algorithm, that is uniquely associated with an entity and may be made public. In an asymmetric (public) cryptosystem, the public key is associated with a private key. The public key may be
known by anyone and, depending on the algorithm, may be used, for example, to:
1) Verify a digital signature that is signed by the corresponding private key,
2) Encrypt keys that can be decrypted by the corresponding private
3) Compute a shared secret during a key-agreement transaction.
SOURCE: SP 800-57 Part 1; FIPS 196; FIPS 140-2; CNSSI-4009