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

Price includes four-course gourmet meals and snacks; open bar; guided shore excursions; snorkel equipment, stand-up paddleboards and sea kayaks, and select transfers. Washington Post, "Travel deals: Half-off resort rates in Mexico and airfare sale to Asia," 21 June 2019 Seven Seas Voyager, Mariner, Explorer, and Navigator—indulge guests with all-inclusive features like unlimited shore excursions, open bars with premium wines (and in-room minibars), unlimited Wi-Fi, and dining in specialty restaurants. Condé Nast Traveler, "The Best Cruise Lines in the World: 2018 Readers' Choice Awards," 9 Oct. 2018 Teddy Sourias and crew keep opening bars (including two spots this weekend at the new Piazza Pod Park in Northern Liberties). Michael Klein,, "Rex 1516 to move into South Street’s historic Royal Theater as owners also expand into Kensington," 4 June 2019 Thanks for having an open bar including us in your big day! Sip, sip, hooray! Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "40+ Wedding Captions for Every Instagram of the Bride, Groom, and Guests," 23 May 2019 The price includes an open bar from 6 to 9 p.m. along with appetizers. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here are seven parks and rooftops where you can watch Milwaukee's July 3 fireworks," 3 July 2018 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

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.

See More

First Known Use of open bar

1947, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about open bar

Dictionary Entries near open bar


open back


open bar



open book

Statistics for open bar

Last Updated

15 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for open bar

The first known use of open bar was in 1947

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on open bar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with open bar

Comments on open bar

What made you want to look up open bar? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!