a building where people go to drink and meet their friends. Pubs serve alcoholic and other drinks, and often also food. They've gone down the pub for a drink. a pub lunch the landlord of the local pub See related entries: Public spaces Culture Pubs are important in the social life of many people in Britain. People often go to the pub nearest their home, known as their local. Pubs have their own character and atmosphere. Some attract young people by playing loud music, others have large television screens so that people can watch sport and there are also traditional village pubs which are often very old and are the centre of village life. Most pubs have more than one bar (= a room to drink in) where drinks are sold from a counter, also called a bar. Often people in a group will take it in turns to go to the bar to buy a round (= a drink for each person in the group). The most popular drinks are beer and lager. Tied houses (= pubs owned by breweries) sell beers made by the company and guest beers from other breweries, and free houses (= pubs not owned by a brewery) offer beers made by several different companies, often including real ales made using traditional methods. Pubs usually sell crisps and nuts and many do simple pub meals such as sausage and chips or a ploughman's lunch. Others, sometimes called gastropubs, sell a wider range of food and are like restaurants. Under Britain's licensing laws alcohol can only be sold to people over 18, and children under 14 are not allowed in pubs unless there is a family room, a room without a bar, or an outside area called a beer garden. Before 1998 pubs were only allowed to open at lunchtime and in the evening, but since then opening hours have become more flexible so that pubs can open all day and even for 24 hours if they have a licence to do so. When closing time approaches, the barman or barmaid rings a bell and calls out ‘Last orders!’, to give customers time to order one more drink. After the bar person has called ‘Time!’ customers are allowed ten minutes drinking-up time to finish their drinks and leave. Pubs always have a name which is shown on a brightly painted sign hanging outside with a picture on it. Many names are hundreds of years old and may have their roots in legends, such as the Green Man, some are named after kings and queens or historical figures, and others refer to things in country life, such as the The Plough or The Bull. Word Origin mid 19th cent.: abbreviation of public house.Extra examples He spent all afternoon in the pub. I had to sing in crowded, smoky pubs. It’s one of those modern theme pubs. Let’s go down the pub for a drink. The corner pub is quite good. the atmosphere of a cosy country pub He’s gone down the pub for a pint. He’s the landlord of the local pub. We stopped on the way for a pub lunch. to go on a pub crawl.