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[grid-ahy-ern] /ˈgrɪdˌaɪ ərn/
a football field.
a utensil consisting of parallel metal bars on which to broil meat or other food.
any framework or network resembling a gridiron.
a structure above the stage of a theater, from which hung scenery and the like are manipulated.
verb (used with object)
to mark off into squares or design with a network of squares.
Origin of gridiron
1250-1300; Middle English gridirne, gridir(e), gridere, variant of gridel griddle; variants in -irne, -ire, etc. are associated by folk etymology with ModE variant irne, ire iron Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gridiron
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The unhappy Coquerico stripped of all his feathers, the soldier took him and laid him on the gridiron.

  • Heat and grease a gridiron, broil a breast of lamb first on one side, then on the other.

  • One man who had no gridiron cooked a piece of steak on the kitchen tongs.

    Harding's luck E. [Edith] Nesbit
  • And when it comes to sleeping another night on a bed like a gridiron, no—thank—you!

    The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis
  • To this I made answer that I preferred to be executed without delay, even were I to be broiled on a gridiron over a slow fire.

British Dictionary definitions for gridiron


a utensil of parallel metal bars, used to grill meat, fish, etc
any framework resembling this utensil
a framework above the stage in a theatre from which suspended scenery, lights, etc, are manipulated
  1. the field of play in American football
  2. an informal name for American football
  3. (as modifier): a gridiron hero
Often shortened to grid
Word Origin
C13 gredire, perhaps variant (through influence of ireiron) of gredilegriddle
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
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Word Origin and History for gridiron

cooking utensil, early 14c., griderne, alteration (by association with iron) of gridire (late 13c.), a variant of gridil (see griddle). Confusion of "l" and "r" was common in Norman dialect. Also a medieval instrument of torture by fire. As the word for a U.S. football field, by 1896, for its lines.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for gridiron



: the grid squad/ gridiron victories


A football field

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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