- a saloon or nightclub selling alcoholic beverages illegally, especially during Prohibition.
Origin of speakeasy
Examples from the Web for speakeasies
After falling out of style, they're back and ready to compete with speakeasies from New Orleans to NYC.The Classic Hotel Bar Checks Back In
July 26, 2014
But like American speakeasies during prohibition in the USA, these places are oases in a desert of official prudery.Tehran’s Underground Speakeasies
June 15, 2014
Maybe the machine covered only the area around the various banks, speakeasies, bars and horse parlors.The Old Die Rich
Horace Leonard Gold
- US a place where alcoholic drink was sold illicitly during Prohibition
Word Origin and History for speakeasies
"unlicensed saloon," 1889 (in New York "Voice"), from speak + easy; so called from the practice of speaking quietly about such a place in public, or when inside it, so as not to alert the police and neighbors. The word gained wide currency in U.S. during Prohibition (1920-1932). In early 19c. Irish and British dialect, a speak softly shop meant "smuggler's den."