Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun plural A game played on a rectangular cloth-covered table with raised cushioned edges, in which a cue is used to hit three small, hard balls against one another or the side cushions of the table.
  • noun plural One of several similar games, such as pool.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A game played by two or more persons, on a rectangular table of special construction (see billiard-table), with ivory balls, which the players, by means of cues, cause to strike against each other.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A game played with ivory balls o a cloth-covered, rectangular table, bounded by elastic cushions. The player seeks to impel his ball with his cue so that it shall either strike (carom upon) two other balls, or drive another ball into one of the pockets with which the table sometimes is furnished.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun games, UK A two-player cue sport played with two cue balls and one red ball, on a snooker sized table.
  • noun games, US The collective noun for games played on a tabletop, usually with several balls, one or more of which is hit by a cue.
  • noun Plural form of billiard.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of several games played on rectangular cloth-covered table (with cushioned edges) in which long tapering cue sticks are used to propel ivory (or composition) balls

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French billard, from bille, log; see billet.]

Examples

  • "What do you say to going down to the hotel and having a game of _bazzica_, as they call billiards here?"

    The Place of Honeymoons

  • While shifting to billiards is too provocative for Washington, if trends continue, it may soon find itself behind the eight ball with few options for maintaining its stabilizing role in the region.

    Billiards in the South China Sea

  • "But I don't gamble by means of dice," interrupted Lewis, "I play, and bet, on billiards, which is a game of skill, requiring much practice, judgment, and thought."

    Rivers of Ice

  • Now first off, pool (formally known as billiards) is all about physics, and this game does an excellent job at replicating that, and it looks good doing it, too.

    PS3 Blog and Community | PS3Blog.net

  • Now first off, pool (formally known as billiards) is all about physics, and this game does an excellent job at replicating that, and it looks good doing it, too.

    PS3 Blog and Community | PS3Blog.net

  • The only sport that the young, roundish "Mike" King was known to excel at was pocket billiards, which isn't exactly a sport

    Mark Rauterkus & Running Mates ponder current events

  • But this was in its way also a kind of billiards: by writing about Taha, a poet who both does and doesn't represent the major strands in Palestinian literature, I was able to write about many others as well.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • Games such as billiards, bowling, golf and pinball are all derived from marbles, enthusiasts say, though such claims are probably impossible to verify.

    Now No One Plays for Keeps

  • In an effort to attract casual bowlers, centers now offer entertainment alternatives such as billiards and air hockey; bumpers keep balls from gutters for children's birthday parties.

    Bullish on Bowling -- Yes, Bowling

  • But this was in its way also a kind of billiards: by writing about Taha, a poet who both does and doesn't represent the major strands in Palestinian literature, I was able to write about many others as well.

    News at Eleven: I didn't set out to find a Representative Palestinian Poet

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