1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Drawing-room

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DRAWING-ROOM (a shortened form of “with-drawing room,” the longer form being usual in the 16th and 17th centuries), the English name generally employed for a room used in a dwelling-house for the reception of company. It originated in the setting apart of such a room, as the more private and exclusive preserve of the ladies of the household, to which they withdrew from the dining-room. The term “drawing-room” is also used in a special sense of the formal receptions or “courts” held by the British sovereign or his representative, at which ladies are presented, as distinguished from a “levee,” at which men are presented.