noun (used with a singular verb)

any of several games played with hard balls of ivory or of a similar material that are driven with a cue on a cloth-covered table enclosed by a raised rim of rubber, especially a game played with a cue ball and two object balls on a table without pockets.Compare pool2(def 8).

Nearby words

  1. billiard,
  2. billiard ball,
  3. billiard parlor,
  4. billiard room,
  5. billiard table,
  6. billie,
  7. billing,
  8. billing cycle,
  9. billing machine,
  10. billings

Origin of billiards

First recorded in 1585–95; plural of billiard

Related formsbil·liard·ist, noun




of or used in billiards.


Origin of billiard

1630–40; < French billard cue, equivalent to bille stick (see billet2) + -ard -ard Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for billiards

British Dictionary definitions for billiards


noun (functioning as singular)

any of various games in which long cues are used to drive balls now made of composition or plastic. It is played on a rectangular table covered with a smooth tight-fitting cloth and having raised cushioned edges
a version of this, played on a rectangular table having six pockets let into the corners and the two longer sides. Points are scored by striking one of three balls with the cue to contact the other two or one of the twoCompare pool 2 (def. 5), snooker

Word Origin for billiards

C16: from Old French billard curved stick, from Old French bille log; see billet ²



(modifier) of or relating to billiardsa billiard table; a billiard cue; a billiard ball
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for billiards
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper