noun plural but singular in construction \-yərdz\

: any one of several games that are played on a large table by hitting solid balls into one another with the end of a long stick

Full Definition of BILLIARDS

:  any of several games played on an oblong table by driving small balls against one another or into pockets with a cue; specifically :  a game in which one scores by causing a cue ball to hit in succession two object balls — compare pool


Middle French billard billiard cue, billiards, from bille wooden stick, log — more at billet
First Known Use: 1580


   (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any of various games played on a cloth-topped, cushion-railed rectangular table by driving small, hard balls against one another or into pockets with a long stick called a cue. Carom, or French billiards, is played with three balls, two white and one red, on a table without pockets. The object is to stroke the white cue ball so that it hits the two object balls in succession, scoring a carom (one point). English billiards is also played with three balls but on a pocketed table; it is scored in various ways. Snooker is another popular British billiards game. The principal billiards game in North America is pocket billiards, or pool. The Billiard Congress of America controls U.S. tournament play, including the U.S. Open Pockets Billiard Championship, regarded as the world championship.


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