Definition of saloon in US English:



  • 1A public room or building used for a specified purpose.

    ‘a billiard saloon’
    • ‘Besides wasteful consumption of so much clean water, pollutants discharged by restaurants, beauty saloons and large bathing rooms are also to blame for contaminated water.’
    • ‘It also has two great restaurants, the Burra Inn housed in a former barber shop and billiard saloon, and Nick's, which serves up a selection of Italian, German and Swiss foods.’
    • ‘Men, particularly bachelors, gathered in concert saloons, neighborhood bar-rooms, and pool-halls where no respectable woman would be seen.’
    • ‘Tom O'Shea built a house, billiard saloon and dining room next to it and Bill Lucy opened a blacksmith shop.’
    • ‘This morning, Cyzarine and Zoya went to a religious service in the dining saloon.’
    1. 1.1North American historical, humorous A place where alcoholic drinks may be bought and drunk.
      • ‘As in other mining camps, ethnic groups settled in their own neighborhoods but worked together in the mines and drank together in the saloons.’
      • ‘At that time, the city had about five saloons, a couple of hotels and groceries, a blacksmith and a train station.’
      • ‘When his knees were stiff with cold, he stepped into a saloon and drank a glass of whiskey, then at a general store purchased a pair of scissors.’
      • ‘And so it was that Laurie ended up in a saloon, drinking beer with the rest of the guys.’
      • ‘For Kid Russell, as he was called, Lewistown was the place he came to kick up his heels, and, it is said, exchange sketches for drinks in local saloons.’
    2. 1.2 A large public room for use as a lounge on a ship.
      • ‘It was quite luxurious - lounge and dining saloon, deck - tourists, and how!’
      • ‘The lift stopped on D Deck and everyone got off and went to the first class dining saloon.’
      • ‘The dining saloon ran the full width of the ship, and seemed even longer.’
      • ‘Peggy and I explored the ship together, noting the position of the most important saloons and lounges.’
    3. 1.3British A luxurious railroad car used as a lounge or restaurant or as private accommodations.
      ‘a dining saloon’
      • ‘It was from here that they were to travel in a saloon carriage provided by the Midland Railway Company to Galway.’
      • ‘Each year we all would come to Hyderabad in one of those fancy railway saloons all the way from Chittagong.’
      • ‘The National Railway Museum's current royal collection includes Queen Victoria's last service saloon and a royal carriage withdrawn from service in 1977.’
  • 2British An automobile having a closed body and a closed trunk separated from the part in which the driver and passengers sit; a sedan.

    • ‘It's neither a saloon, hatchback, MPV nor an estate - it is a premium vehicle that defies a label, but is a mixture of all the above.’
    • ‘It's a real four-seater saloon car with serious pace when you need it, rather than a supercar draped in a saloon's body.’
    • ‘While the five-door hatchback is expected to be the best seller in Europe, the four-door saloon is also predicted to sell well on the Continent.’
    • ‘It is available as a five-door hatchback and a four-door saloon.’
    • ‘The revised Mercedes-Benz C Class saloons, estates and Sports Coupe have now gone on sale in Ireland, alongside a brand new SLK roadster.’


Early 18th century (in the sense ‘drawing room’): from French salon, from Italian salone ‘large hall’, augmentative of sala ‘hall’.