open bar


Definition of open bar 

: a bar (as at a wedding reception) at which drinks are served free — compare cash bar

Examples of open bar in a Sentence

They had a buffet and an open bar at the reception.

Recent Examples on the Web

Luckily, there are other options that cost just a fraction of a traditional open bar. Lydia Culp, Fox News, "Save money on your wedding: 15 tips to help slice your budget," 26 Apr. 2018 Crenn, who just opened Bar Crenn this week, was also one of two women on the five-person list which included Los Angeles chefs Michael Cimarusti (Providence), Jeremy Fox (Rustic Canyon), Jessica Koslow (Sqirl), Travis Lett (Gjelina). Justin Phillips, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area represents in 2018 James Beard award nominations," 14 Mar. 2018 Friends and family bumped around on the dance floor, open bar drinks in hand. Meagan Fredette,, "This Bachelorette Contestant's Doomed Wedding Video Is Actually A Masterpiece," 24 June 2018 Former City Controller Alan Butkovitz criticized Mayor Nutter in 2016, claiming that fund money paid for unapproved grants, a trip for the mayor, and an open bar reception. Ray Boyd,, "Villanova title quest continues, Mayor's Fund shakeup, Cosby team wants new judge | Morning Newsletter," 23 Mar. 2018 The minimum donation of $40 includes hearty appetizers, an open bar, raffle items and gifts. Carol Kovach,, "Earth Day observances set in North Olmsted, Lakewood: A Place in the Sun," 16 Apr. 2018 In June, Shelton and Jason Aldean opened bars in downtown Nashville. Emily Yahr,, "Country music's sobering truths," 30 June 2018 Our two-hour sunset cruise, which had an open bar, was $25 per person. Dawn Gilbertson, azcentral, "Puerto Penasco: A first-timer's guide to affordable Mexican beach town," 25 June 2018 Luke Wade, left, and Mark Musselman plan to open Bar + Rec at 1729 Grand in early 2019. Joyce Smith, kansascity, "Coming to the Crossroads: a bar with volleyball courts, ping-pong tables," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'open bar.' 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 open bar

1947, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near open bar


open back


open bar



open book

Statistics for open bar

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for open bar

The first known use of open bar was in 1947

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More Definitions for open bar

open bar


English Language Learners Definition of open bar

: a counter at a party or other gathering where alcoholic drinks are served for free

More from Merriam-Webster on open bar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with open bar

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