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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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 In addition to the seven total bedrooms, the home has numerous living areas — a den attached to the kitchen, a formal living room, a billiards room, an upstairs family room, a media room and an exercise room. Dallas News, "Peek inside this nearly 15,000-square-foot home on a gated property in Preston Hollow," 24 June 2020 The five-bedroom, five-bath house has a media room, a library, a billiards room, and a master suite with his and hers offices, sitting areas and an exercise room. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "North Dallas mansion sale is one of the largest this year," 12 June 2020 Under the order’s previous wording, open congregate areas in restaurants, bars, and banquet and catering facilities used for billiards, card playing, pinball games, video games, arcade games, dancing and entertainment were closed. Julie Washington, cleveland, "Ohio now allows live music, dancing, mingling at weddings -- but keep your social distance," 12 June 2020 After the lectures, Fischer and Sloan wandered the city at night like twin Holden Caulfields, playing billiards at the pool hall where The Hustler had been filmed a couple of years earlier. J.c. Hallman, The New Republic, "When Mr. Sloan Went to Washington," 11 June 2020 Some indoor leisure like arcades, billiards and bowling alleys, indoor museums and hotels can also reopen at the start of July. Chronicle Staff,, "Coronavirus news from the Bay Area: June 8," 9 June 2020 Lined with limestone, the other common spaces include a formal dining room, custom office, movie theater, wine cellar, billiards room and remodeled kitchen with a U-shaped island. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Paul George puts Hidden Hills mansion on the market for $9.495 million," 3 June 2020 The article quotes a Facebook post by Dan Kline, the owner of a local billiards bar. NBC News, "In Klamath Falls, Oregon, victory declared over antifa, which never showed up," 31 May 2020 At the far end of the guest area is a billiards room, bar, and media room. James Tarmy,, "This Beachfront Mansion Is Primed for a James Bond-Style Escape," 21 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for billiards

Time Traveler

The first known use of billiards was in 1580

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Statistics for billiards

Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Billiards.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for billiards


How to pronounce billiards (audio)

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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