Definition of saloon in US English:



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

    ‘a billiard saloon’
    • ‘This morning, Cyzarine and Zoya went to a religious service in the dining saloon.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Tom O'Shea built a house, billiard saloon and dining room next to it and Bill Lucy opened a blacksmith shop.’
    • ‘Men, particularly bachelors, gathered in concert saloons, neighborhood bar-rooms, and pool-halls where no respectable woman would be seen.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1North American humorous, historical A place where alcoholic drinks may be bought and drunk.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As in other mining camps, ethnic groups settled in their own neighborhoods but worked together in the mines and drank together in the saloons.’
      • ‘And so it was that Laurie ended up in a saloon, drinking beer with the rest of the guys.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 A large public room for use as a lounge on a ship.
      • ‘Peggy and I explored the ship together, noting the position of the most important saloons and lounges.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3British A luxurious railroad car used as a lounge or restaurant or as private accommodations.
      ‘a dining saloon’
      • ‘The National Railway Museum's current royal collection includes Queen Victoria's last service saloon and a royal carriage withdrawn from service in 1977.’
      • ‘Each year we all would come to Hyderabad in one of those fancy railway saloons all the way from Chittagong.’
      • ‘It was from here that they were to travel in a saloon carriage provided by the Midland Railway Company to Galway.’
  • 2British An automobile having a closed body and a closed trunk separated from the part in which the driver and passengers sit; a sedan.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The revised Mercedes-Benz C Class saloons, estates and Sports Coupe have now gone on sale in Ireland, alongside a brand new SLK roadster.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is available as a five-door hatchback and a four-door saloon.’
    • ‘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.’


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