• synonyms


See more synonyms for speakeasy on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural speak·eas·ies.
  1. a saloon or nightclub selling alcoholic beverages illegally, especially during Prohibition.
Show More

Origin of speakeasy

An Americanism dating back to 1885–90; speak + easy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for speakeasies

bistro, bar, restaurant, tavern, disco, joint, saloon, cabaret, discotheque, speakeasy, hangout, pub, nightclub, barroom, hotel, lounge, inn, lodge, theatre, hideaway

Examples from the Web for speakeasies

Contemporary Examples of speakeasies

Historical Examples of speakeasies

  • Maybe the machine covered only the area around the various banks, speakeasies, bars and horse parlors.

    The Old Die Rich

    Horace Leonard Gold

British Dictionary definitions for speakeasies


noun plural -easies
  1. US a place where alcoholic drink was sold illicitly during Prohibition
Show More

Word Origin for speakeasy

C19: from speak + easy (in the sense: gently, quietly)
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 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."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper