Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


or barbeque, bar-b-que

[bahr-bi-kyoo] /ˈbɑr bɪˌkyu/
pieces of beef, fowl, fish, or the like, roasted over an open hearth, especially when basted in a barbecue sauce.
a framework, as a grill or a spit, or a fireplace for cooking meat or vegetables over an open fire.
a dressed steer, lamb, or other animal, roasted whole.
a meal, usually in the open air and often as a political or social gathering, at which meats are roasted over an open hearth or pit.
verb (used with object), barbecued, barbecuing.
to broil or roast whole or in large pieces over an open fire, on a spit or grill, often seasoning with vinegar, spices, salt, and pepper.
to cook (sliced or diced meat or fish) in a highly seasoned sauce.
verb (used without object), barbecued, barbecuing.
to cook by barbecuing or to entertain at a barbecue:
If the weather's nice, we'll barbecue in the backyard.
Origin of barbecue
1655-65; < Spanish barbacoa < Arawak (perhaps Taino) barbacoa a raised frame of sticks
Related forms
barbecuer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for barbecue
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He was at that moment walking past the barbecue pit with George McCloud.

    Whispering Smith Frank H. Spearman
  • I think it was the fellow that shot so well with the rifle at the barbecue––what was his name?

    Whispering Smith Frank H. Spearman
  • He had instructed his black people to have a barbecue at their quarters.

    The Kentucky Ranger Edward T. Curnick
  • This barbecue feast was to be eaten after the marriage ceremony was performed.

    The Kentucky Ranger Edward T. Curnick
  • The father of the young lady you were so attentive to at the barbecue.

    Lone Star Planet Henry Beam Piper and John Joseph McGuire
British Dictionary definitions for barbecue


a meal cooked out of doors over an open fire
an outdoor party or picnic at which barbecued food is served
a grill or fireplace used in barbecuing
the food so cooked
verb (transitive) -cues, -cuing, -cued
to cook (meat, fish, etc) on a grill, usually over charcoal and often with a highly seasoned sauce
to cook (meat, fish, etc) in a highly seasoned sauce
Word Origin
C17: from American Spanish barbacoa, probably from Taino: frame made of sticks
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for barbecue

1650s, "framework for grilling meat, fish, etc.," from American Spanish barbacoa, from Arawakan (Haiti) barbakoa "framework of sticks," the raised wooden structure the Indians used to either sleep on or cure meat. Sense of "outdoor meal of roasted meat or fish as a social entertainment" is from 1733; modern popular noun sense of "grill for cooking over an open fire" is from 1931.


1660s, from barbecue (n.). Related: Barbecued; barbecuing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for barbecue

Word Value for barbecue

Scrabble Words With Friends