• synonyms


or bar·be·que, bar-b-que

See more synonyms for barbecue on Thesaurus.com
  1. pieces of beef, fowl, fish, or the like, roasted over an open hearth, especially when basted in a barbecue sauce.
  2. a framework, as a grill or a spit, or a fireplace for cooking meat or vegetables over an open fire.
  3. a dressed steer, lamb, or other animal, roasted whole.
  4. 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.
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verb (used with object), bar·be·cued, bar·be·cu·ing.
  1. 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.
  2. to cook (sliced or diced meat or fish) in a highly seasoned sauce.
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verb (used without object), bar·be·cued, bar·be·cu·ing.
  1. to cook by barbecuing or to entertain at a barbecue: If the weather's nice, we'll barbecue in the backyard.
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Origin of barbecue

1655–65; < Spanish barbacoa < Arawak (perhaps Taino) barbacoa a raised frame of sticks
Related formsbar·be·cu·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for barbecue

picnic, cookout, grill, broil, sear, party, bake, spit, griddle, fireplace, roaster, broiler, hibachi, fry, charcoal, rotisserie

Examples from the Web for barbecue

Contemporary Examples of barbecue

Historical Examples of barbecue

  • 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 was at that moment walking past the barbecue pit with George McCloud.

    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


  1. a meal cooked out of doors over an open fire
  2. an outdoor party or picnic at which barbecued food is served
  3. a grill or fireplace used in barbecuing
  4. the food so cooked
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verb -cues, -cuing or -cued (tr)
  1. to cook (meat, fish, etc) on a grill, usually over charcoal and often with a highly seasoned sauce
  2. to cook (meat, fish, etc) in a highly seasoned sauce
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Word Origin for barbecue

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

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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper