noun, plural in form but singular in construction
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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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 Amenities include a billiards room, a media and game room, and an infrared sauna room. Globe Staff,, 7 July 2022 There are hookups for large-screen televisions in a bedroom, the family room, the billiards room, and above a soaking tub in the master bath. Mary Carole Mccauley, Baltimore Sun, 23 June 2022 The house also has an office, a billiards room and a home theater. Sarah Paynter, WSJ, 14 June 2022 Other hyper-specific areas of the home include a billiards room and an exercise, spa and beauty room. Tori Latham, Robb Report, 13 June 2022 After dinner, the sleekly chic El Bar—once the billiards room of the Duke—makes a seductive spot for a craft cocktail. Alexandra Kirkman, Forbes, 1 June 2022 One room that could be changed in some ways was the billiards room, which was formerly a library. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 26 May 2022 The lower level has guest quarters, a billiards room and a fitness area with a spa and sauna. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 25 May 2022 Other features include a home theater, which is fully soundproof, as well as an indoor-outdoor gym, and billiards room. Emma Reynolds, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for billiards

Time Traveler

The first known use of billiards was in 1580

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Dictionary Entries Near billiards

billiard room


billiard table

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Statistics for billiards

Last Updated

16 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Billiards.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for billiards


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

More from Merriam-Webster on billiards

Nglish: Translation of billiards for Spanish Speakers

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


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