Historically, the boudoir formed part of the private suite of rooms of a lady, for bathing and dressing, adjacent to her bedchamber, being the female equivalent of the male cabinet. In later periods, the boudoir was used as a private drawing room, and was used for other activities, such as embroidery or spending time with one's romantic partner.English language usage varies between countries, and is now largely historical. In the United Kingdom, in the period when the term was most often used (Victorian era and early 20th century), a boudoir was a lady's evening sitting room, and was separate from her morning room, and her dressing room. As this multiplicity of rooms with overlapping functions suggests, boudoirs were generally only found in grand houses. In the United States, in the same era, boudoir was an alternative term for dressing room, favored by those who felt that French terms conferred more prestige.
In Caribbean English, a boudoir is the front room of the house where women entertain family and friends.