or bar·be·que, bar-b-que

[ bahr-bi-kyoo ]
See synonyms for barbecue on
  1. pieces of meat, fowl, fish, or the like, roasted or smoked over fire, especially when basted in a barbecue sauce: The restaurant serves amazing barbecue.

  2. a framework, such as a grill or a spit, for cooking meat or vegetables over an open fire:Make sure you clean off the barbecue so it's ready to use when we go camping.

  1. a meal, usually in the open air and often as a social gathering, at which meats are roasted on a grill or over an open hearth or pit.

  2. any social gathering centered around food, especially meat, that is cooked over fire using a grill, spit, smoker, or the like: Our weekend barbecue was lively until it started to rain.

  3. a dressed steer, lamb, or other animal, roasted whole.

verb (used with object),bar·be·cued, bar·be·cu·ing.
  1. to broil, smoke, or roast (meat, fowl, fish, or the like) whole or in large pieces over an open fire, using a spit, grill, smoker, or the like, often seasoning with vinegar, spices, salt, and pepper: They barbecued a chicken and some steaks for dinner.

  2. to cook (sliced or diced meat, fowl, fish, or the like) in a highly seasoned sauce.

verb (used without object),bar·be·cued, bar·be·cu·ing.
  1. to cook over an open fire using an instrument such as a grill, spit, or smoker, or to host a social gathering where food is cooked in this manner: If the weather's nice, we'll barbecue in the backyard.

Origin of barbecue

First recorded in 1655–65; from Spanish barbacoa, from Arawak (perhaps Taíno ) barbacoa “a raised frame of sticks”

Other words from barbecue

  • bar·be·cu·er, noun

Words Nearby barbecue Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use barbecue in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for barbecue


/ (ˈbɑːbɪˌkjuː) /

  1. a meal cooked out of doors over an open fire

  2. an outdoor party or picnic at which barbecued food is served

  1. a grill or fireplace used in barbecuing

  2. the food so cooked

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

Origin of 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