View synonyms for barbecue


or bar·be·que, bar-b-que

[ bahr-bi-kyoo ]


  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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  5. 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.


/ ˈbɑːbɪˌkjuː /


  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


  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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Other Words From

  • bar·be·cu·er noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of barbecue1

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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of barbecue1

C17: from American Spanish barbacoa , probably from Taino: frame made of sticks

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Example Sentences

My preferred brand, David, comes coated in dill pickle, ranch, and barbecue powder, but in my opinion, sunflower seeds shouldn’t be any particular flavor.

From Eater

Usually, most of the big summer blockbusters have already come out, people are squeezing in their last beach trips and barbecues, and movie theaters are looking ahead to the hefty fall season.

From Vox

I wouldn’t want to cook a complex meal on it, but it’s perfect for burgers, hot dogs, and other basic barbecue foods.

The rally included a community cleanup, food drive, music, barbecue, a bouncy house, healing circle and voter registration booth, reports Kenosha News.

From Fortune

That means no backyard barbecues or parties on Fourth of July.

So, the Southside Smokehouse is more than a barbecue pit, a burger shack, or a Cajun kitchen.

We remember that time a flight attendant told us at a barbecue that if the bell tones four times, things are serious.

He went on to open a dry cleaning business, barbecue restaurant, and liquor store.

The word primitive does not do justice to the elemental nature of dining in one of the great barbecue parlors of this region.

Then again, is there really ever a bad time for slow-cooked barbecue, hot jazz and cool blues music?

James Murray, mayor of Alexandria, La., was killed while attempting to suppress a disturbance at a barbecue.

Now he plans to hold a big barbecue en send out invitations.

Later the Cherokee Indians changed the council fire into a barbecue, where they roasted whole beefs in pits of glowing coals.

A fire of hard-wood had been burning in it for hours, the preliminary to a gigantic barbecue of fat oxen.

They were having a barbecue; that is, they were roasting oxen whole on great spits; and a horse race was to be run.


Related Words




barbebarbecue pit