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[bil-yerdz] /ˈbɪl yərdz/
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).
Origin of billiards
1585-95; plural of billiard
Related forms
billiardist, noun


[bil-yerd] /ˈbɪl yərd/
of or used in billiards.
carom (def 1).
1630-40; < French billard cue, equivalent to bille stick (see billet2) + -ard -ard Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for billiards
  • Imagine that you are playing pocket billiards on a pool table that is three meters long and one meter wide.
  • The mathematician might be concerned with the set of possible games, say the set of possible configurations on a billiards table.
  • Trump appears to have covered his head in a thick layer of billiards chalk before recording this video.
  • The hotel features an oceanfront outdoor swimming pool and a game room with billiards table and arcade games.
  • Other amenities include complimentary buffet breakfast and sports facilities such table tennis and billiards.
  • There's a small game room with a billiards table and a media screening room.
  • Relax with a game of billiards or swim laps in the pool.
  • Golfing, tennis and billiards are nearby, and the site has scheduled game nights.
  • Plus, visit the recreation hall to watch the large screen television or play a game of billiards.
  • Activities at the hotel include billiards, tennis and racquetball.
British Dictionary definitions for billiards


noun (functioning as sing)
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 two Compare pool2 (sense 5), snooker
Word Origin
C16: from Old French billard curved stick, from Old French bille log; see billet²


(modifier) of or relating to billiards: a 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
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Word Origin and History for billiards

1590s, from French billiard, originally the word for the wooden cue stick, a diminutive from Old French bille "stick of wood," from Medieval Latin billia "tree, trunk," possibly from Gaulish (cf. Irish bile "tree trunk").


singular of billiards, used only in combinations.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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