bil·​liards | \ ˈbi(l)-yərdz How to pronounce billiards (audio) \

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 entry 3

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Did You Know?

The word billiards refers to 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 US tournament play, including the US Open Pockets Billiard Championship, regarded as the world championship.

Examples of billiards in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s a billiards room, wet bar and movie theater with cork walls. Jack Flemming,, "La Jolla mansion of late sportscaster Dick Enberg surfaces for sale," 25 June 2019 Down below, a den with a billiards room and movie theater expands to a patio with a swimming pool and spa. Jack Flemming,, "Baseball journeyman Edwin Jackson looks to uproot once more in Georgia," 16 June 2019 But almost everything else was left in the Camp Century trenches: prefabricated huts that served as dorms and mess halls, tables, chairs, sinks, mattresses, bunks, urinals, the billiards table. Jon Gertner, WIRED, "The Top Secret Cold War Project That Pulled Climate Science From the Ice," 12 June 2019 Roughly 17,000 square feet, the home sits on 5.34 acres and has a 2-story entry hall, a large living room with bronze french doors, a terrace spanning the rear of the house, a billiards room, a home theater, a wine cellar and a gym. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Massive Connecticut Estate Sells for 50% off," 21 Dec. 2018 The lower portion of the house has a billiards room, a wine cellar, a screening room and a gym. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Onetime Malibu Home Sells for About $50 Million," 1 Aug. 2018 Located alongside a nine-hole golf-course, the Playhouse includes and indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball court, squash court, billiards room, and bowling alleys. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "See Inside the Rockefeller Family's Historic Playhouse," 27 July 2018 Castle Hyde,’ which has a billiards room decorated in an African safari theme and an indoor recreation complex with a swimming pool. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "‘Lord of the Dance’ Michael Flatley Relists Irish Manor for $14.5 Million," 28 June 2018 Elsewhere, there’s a breakfast nook, a theater room, a wet bar, a sauna, a gym, a billiards room and a family room with a curved wall of windows. Jack Flemming,, "Son of former Disney CEO sells Little Holmby mansion for a record $12.8 million," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'billiards.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of billiards

1580, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for billiards

Middle French billard billiard cue, billiards, from bille wooden stick, log — more at billet

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Statistics for billiards

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for billiards

The first known use of billiards was in 1580

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More Definitions for billiards



English Language Learners Definition of billiards

: 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


bil·​liards | \ ˈbil-yərdz How to pronounce billiards (audio) \

Kids Definition of billiards

: a game played by driving solid balls with a cue into each other or into pockets on a large rectangular table

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More from Merriam-Webster on billiards

Spanish Central: Translation of billiards

Nglish: Translation of billiards for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of billiards for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about billiards

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