speak·​easy | \ ˈspēk-ˌē-zē How to pronounce speakeasy (audio) \
plural speakeasies

Definition of speakeasy

: a place where alcoholic beverages are illegally sold specifically : such a place during the period of prohibition in the U.S.

Examples of speakeasy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Aside from speakeasy classics, smoky cocktails and a champagne infusion bar were set up to keep guests on the dance floor long after midnight. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Coolest Wedding of the Year: Ann Brady & Scott Kelce's New Year's Celebration," 30 Dec. 2016 Discovering Bar Beau doesn’t involve speakeasy passwords or secret doorways, but simply being in-the-know. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Brooklyn’s Bar Beau Is the Latest Hidden Hotspot You Need to Visit," 24 Nov. 2018 Tokyo Music Bar Set just across from Emilia Restaurante is the newest addition to Little Tokyo’s late-night scene, the speakeasy-style Tokyo Music Bar. Michaela Trimble, Vogue, "An Insider’s Guide to the Little Tokyo of Mexico City," 23 Jan. 2019 Today, the remaining speakeasies openly celebrate their legacy, Half Moon Bay boasts its own distillery, and cocktail devotees have their choice of oases to raise a glass at day’s end. Jeanne Cooper, SFChronicle.com, "Where to watch the sunset with a cocktail around Half Moon Bay," 11 July 2018 The speakeasy will be a word-of-mouth space in the 1,000-square-foot vault that used to store Paris Laundry's clients' fur coats. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Restaurants, stores take over historic buildings in Phoenix's 'funky' Melrose District," 18 May 2018 The intimate space, with capacity for a mere 12 people, has the feel of a speakeasy, replete with a century-old bar counter reclaimed from a Pennsylvania private club. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Some of the Best Bars in New York City Aren’t Open to the Public," 9 Mar. 2019 There is a famous custom motorcycle shop, South Bay Customs, and a very cool distillery, R6, with a speakeasy on the premises. Robin Abcarian, latimes.com, "Sleepy little El Segundo is suddenly on the radar and fighting to keep its small-town identity," 17 Apr. 2018 Following the premiere, guests including Helena Christensen and Anna Sui took a short stroll to the nearby Back Room, a clandestine watering hole, hidden down a staircase and through an alleyway, that once served as a Prohibition-era speakeasy. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Chloë Grace Moretz and Isabelle Huppert Spook Moviegoers at the Premiere of Greta," 20 Feb. 2019

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

1889, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near speakeasy



speak down




speaker key

Statistics for speakeasy

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for speakeasy

The first known use of speakeasy was in 1889

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English Language Learners Definition of speakeasy

: a place where alcoholic drinks were sold illegally in the U.S. during the 1920s

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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