Definition of billiards in English:


plural noun

  • usually treated as singular A game for two people, played on a billiard table, in which three balls are struck with cues into pockets round the edge of the tabl, with points scored by cannons, pocketing an object ball, or cannoning the cue ball into a pocket. In North America the game is known as English billiards.

    ‘guests can play billiards or table tennis’
    ‘a billiard ball’
    • ‘Separate areas hold the pocket billiards and indoor shuffleboard tables.’
    • ‘The game of pocket billiards has a unique way of making us all equal.’
    • ‘The sports complex will have facilities for indoor games including badminton, billiards, and table tennis.’
    • ‘First it was indoor swimming pools, then came indoor tennis, of course the huge influx of indoor sports like snooker, billiards, table tennis became hot favourites.’
    • ‘Quality of hit is vital to pocket billiards excellence.’
    • ‘But, it is his approach on the table - be it snooker or billiards - that makes him stand out.’
    • ‘A game / billiards room on the first floor opens out onto a patio with a hot tub.’
    • ‘I wrote the book about the inner game of pocket billiards because I have a lot of experience with the self-defeating elements that destroy an otherwise fine game.’
    • ‘To me, my growth in pocket billiards is the ‘word’.’
    • ‘Whoever designed the game cleverly ensured it was more economical on space in pubs and clubs than ordinary billiards and pool tables because players strike from one end of the table so there is no need to walk around the table at all.’
    • ‘An appropriate metaphor might be a game of billiards or snooker, events in the three kingdoms so many balls bouncing off one another and occasionally falling into pockets.’
    • ‘But in professional carom, unlike in billiards, the cue ball has to hit three cushions during the shot.’
    • ‘Joseph Thompson memorial billiards - this memorial billiards tournament will commence very soon and will be played in the O'Brien hall, Borris-in-Ossory.’
    • ‘If you are playing in tournaments, or heading for the play offs in your league, you will want to have a grasp of the four strokes of pocket billiards.’
    • ‘It was a masculine room, with a billiards table in the center.’
    • ‘Lovers of the game feel that billiards and snooker will die a slow death in India as long as the games remain unknown to the common man.’
    • ‘It is not enough to reach the summit of pocket billiards excellence.’
    • ‘You begin your pocket billiards journey with the end in mind.’
    • ‘The battalion chapel and a game room with billiards and ping-pong tables were also located in the DFAC building.’
    • ‘For two players like us, dinner on the docks was plenty incentive to strive for pocket billiards excellence.’


Late 16th century: from French billard, denoting both the game and the cue, diminutive of bille (see billet).