Definitions

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

  • noun A cheap, noisy bar or dance hall.
  • adjective Of or relating to such a bar or dance hall; tawdry.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or being a type of ragtime characteristically played on a tinny-sounding piano or in a honky-tonk.
  • intransitive verb To visit cheap, noisy bars or dance halls.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Alow groggery: a slang name among the negroes of the southern United States.

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

  • adjective Pertaining to or resembling a honky-tonk.
  • adjective (Music) Pertaining to a style of ragtime piano music having a melody embellished with chords and syncopated rhythms, accompanied by a bass in strict two-four or four-four time. It is often played on an upright piano having its strings muffled to produce a tinny sound.
  • noun a cheap drinking and dancing establishment; a cheap and tawdry nightclub.
  • noun A district in which honky-tonks{1} are found.

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

  • noun dated A cheap nightclub
  • noun dated The type of music typically played in such a club
  • noun A style of country music emphasizing traditional country instruments (e.g., guitar, steel guitar and fiddle); a rough, nasal vocal style; and tragic themes such as heartbreak, infidelity and alcoholism.

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

  • noun a cheap drinking and dancing establishment
  • noun a cheap disreputable nightclub or dance hall

Etymologies

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

[Perhaps from honk.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From honk-a-tonk ("a cheap nightclub"), possibly imitative

Examples

  • She wore hip-hugging tight jeans most of the time, and when she went out to sing at what she called another honky-tonk, she usually tied the bottom of her blouse so there was a little midriff showing.

    Lightning Strikes

  • She wore hip-hugging tight jeans most of the time, and when she went out to sing at what she called another honky-tonk, she usually tied the bottom of her blouse so there was a little midriff showing.

    Lightning Strikes

  • She wore hip-hugging tight jeans most of the time, and when she went out to sing at what she called another honky-tonk, she usually tied the bottom of her blouse so there was a little midriff showing.

    Lightning Strikes

  • She wore hip-hugging tight jeans most of the time, and when she went out to sing at what she called another honky-tonk, she usually tied the bottom of her blouse so there was a little midriff showing.

    Lightning Strikes

  • Hottle said some of Cline's original costumes, still faintly smelling of the cigarette smoke that hung in the 1950s honky-tonk air, are in climate-controlled storage for display in a museum that Celebrating Patsy Cline hopes to eventually open elsewhere in Winchester.

    Patsy Cline's House Opens to Public

  • Hottle said some of Cline's original costumes, still faintly smelling of the cigarette smoke that hung in the 1950s honky-tonk air, are in climate-controlled storage for display in a museum that Celebrating Patsy Cline hopes to eventually open elsewhere in Winchester.

    Patsy Cline's House Opens to Public

  • (See: falling into stalker-level love with Jillian after one cowboy-themed date at an empty honky-tonk bar.)

    Jake is the new Bachelor. What, was a box of rocks not available? | EW.com

  • Hottle said some of Cline's original costumes, still faintly smelling of the cigarette smoke that hung in the 1950s honky-tonk air, are in climate-controlled storage for display in a museum that Celebrating Patsy Cline hopes to eventually open elsewhere in Winchester.

    Patsy Cline's House Opens to Public

  • She was playing the harmonica and I was playing the honky-tonk piano.

    Mike Ragogna: HuffPost Premiere: Wild Palms' "To The Lighthouse," Plus A Conversation With Susan Werner

  • She was playing the harmonica and I was playing the honky-tonk piano.

    Mike Ragogna: HuffPost Premiere: Wild Palms' "To The Lighthouse," Plus A Conversation With Susan Werner

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