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

Options range from a 1920s-themed speakeasy party cruise, with DJs and an open bar, to a spin around the Bay on a 28-passenger, double-masted yacht. Condé Nast Traveler, "Where to Watch Fourth of July Fireworks in San Francisco," 4 July 2019 Good food, music, shopping, open bar, kid face painting & balloon art, and door prizes. Luann Gibbs,, "Things to do in Cincinnati this week: July 1-7," 30 June 2019 Tickets include: an oyster bar, open bar, hors d’oeuvres, a presentation of traditional absinthe preparation. Ann Maloney,, "Father’s Day, summer dining deals: Food events through June 19," 11 June 2019 Multiple large-screen TVs for viewing the program and heavy hors d’oeuvres, desserts, a full open bar, $250 ballot competition, raffles and a silent auction. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "Here's what to do in Louisville this week: Oscar watch party, Bourbon Classic & more," 28 Feb. 2018 The next night, on the evening of May 6th, 21c is throwing Derby After Dusk (tickets are more reasonable at $250) with Porsche, Original Makers Club, and Woodford Reserve (open bars and TBA DJs and live music). Sarah Bray, Town & Country, "A Socialite's Guide to the Kentucky Derby," 12 Apr. 2017 Locust Grove, 561 Blankenbaker Lane, 8 p.m. Music by the Perfect 10 Band, open bar, cigar roll and Brown Forman’s Flavor Wheel. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "You can still get tickets to these cheap (and some swanky) Kentucky Derby parties in 2018," 1 May 2018 Highlights of the evening include live music and dancers, small-plate appetizers, an open bar and a silent auction. Greg Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Plan your weekend: Jim Norton, Novi Home Show, 'Sesame Street Live!'," 24 Jan. 2018 The event takes place from 6:30 to 10 p.m. and includes hors d'oeuvres, an open bar and exclusive access to points of interest in the Capitol. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Great River Road wine festival and more to do around Wisconsin," 5 Nov. 2017

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

18 Jul 2019

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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

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with open bar

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