Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A grill, pit, or outdoor fireplace for roasting meat.
  • noun A whole animal carcass or section thereof roasted or broiled over an open fire or on a spit.
  • noun A social gathering, usually held outdoors, at which food is cooked over an open flame.
  • transitive verb To roast, broil, or grill (meat or seafood) over live coals or an open fire, often basting with a seasoned sauce.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A wooden framework used for supporting over a fire meat or fish to be smoked or dried.
  • noun An iron frame on which large joints are placed for broiling, or on which whole animals are roasted; a large gridiron.
  • noun The carcass of an ox, hog, or other animal, roasted whole.
  • noun A large social or political entertainment in the open air, at which animals are roasted whole, and feasting on a generous scale is indulged in.
  • noun An open floor or terrace smoothly covered with plaster or asphalt, on which to dry coffee-beans, etc.
  • To cure by smoking or drying on a barbecue (which see).
  • To dress and roast whole, as an ox or a hog, by splitting it to the backbone, and roasting it on a gridiron.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To dry or cure by exposure on a frame or gridiron.
  • transitive verb To roast or broil whole, as an ox or hog.
  • noun a framework of metal or brick, usually with a grill on top, in which a fire is lighted and on which food is cooked, usually outdoors; -- also called a barbecue grill.
  • noun A social entertainment, where people assemble, usually in the open air, at which a meal is prepared on a barbecue grill.
  • noun A floor, on which coffee beans are sun-dried.
  • noun A hog, ox, or other large animal roasted or broiled whole for a feast.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A fireplace or pit for grilling food, typically used outdoors and traditionally employing hot charcoal as the heating medium.
  • noun A meal or event highlighted by food cooked on a barbecue.
  • verb To cook food on a barbecue; to grill.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb cook outdoors on a barbecue grill
  • noun a rack to hold meat for cooking over hot charcoal usually out of doors
  • noun a cookout in which food is cooked over an open fire; especially a whole animal carcass roasted on a spit
  • noun meat that has been barbecued or grilled in a highly seasoned sauce

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[American Spanish barbacoa, of Taíno origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish barbacoa, from Taino barbakoa ("framework of sticks"), the raised wooden structure the Indians used to either sleep on or cure meat. Originally “meal of roasted meat or fish”.

Examples

  • I believe that one of the candidates for the Senate there has made it part of his platform. the word barbecue comes from the Spanish word barbacoa which in turns comes from the Arawak

    MyDD

  • The term barbecue comes via the Spanish barbacoa from the West Indies, and a Taino word that meant a framework of green sticks suspended on corner posts, on which meat, fish, and other foods were laid and cooked in the open over fire and coals.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • The term barbecue comes via the Spanish barbacoa from the West Indies, and a Taino word that meant a framework of green sticks suspended on corner posts, on which meat, fish, and other foods were laid and cooked in the open over fire and coals.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • Because for some, using the term barbecue to refer to grilled things is just so freaking incorrect.

    Baltimore City Paper

  • At each of these outdoor cookouts, the term barbecue is being stretched in culinary directions that I do not condone.

    Jack of All Blogs

  • But as the camera pulls back, the viewer sees that the barbecue is actually taking place on a freeway.

    Push is on to end prescription drug ads targeting consumers

  • Going to my family's house in nearby Mentone for a barbecue is always one of the highlights of my trip.

    Courtside with Ana: No title, but a great run at Aussie

  • The OED also says that the English word barbecue came from the Spanish word barbacoa which came from the Taino word for a raised platform.

    Need help with Spanish dictionary

  • I've recently spent time in several of the nation's major barbecue regions, and I've come to the conclusion that the term "barbecue" is misleading, a misnomer that implies that these widely disparate food items are in some essential way the same thing.

    Archive 2005-10-01

  • I've recently spent time in several of the nation's major barbecue regions, and I've come to the conclusion that the term "barbecue" is misleading, a misnomer that implies that these widely disparate food items are in some essential way the same thing.

    Barbecue Qua Barbecue

Comments

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  • In all the discussions about the American South and its wonderful foodstuffs (and other stuffs) that have taken place on this site (see: skipvia, esp.), this article really brings it alive for me. :)

    'DeeDee Gammage planned to eat her barbecue between slices of white bread, in the car, on the way home. Lou Esther Black told Mrs. Washington that she would serve her take-away atop bowls of grits on Sunday morning. “I let the grease from the meat be my sauce,�? Ms. Black said. “You don’t need butter.�?'

    Now I'm really hungry.

    June 11, 2009

  • If you want to start a lengthy, intractable argument in the South, ask someone what the best way to prepare barbecue is.

    June 11, 2009

  • Since when does Wordie have pop-up ads? This page features the first I've seen. Maybe I've been away too long... I can't imagine it hasn't been discussed.

    June 11, 2009

  • I've never had a pop-up ad on Wordie.

    June 11, 2009

  • Never go back.

    June 11, 2009

  • Arcadia, are you sure whatever pop-up you saw wasn't triggered by some other page? I use Google Adsense for ads, and the only kind of ads I have configured are the 250x250 jobbies you see in the upper right. I don't think Google even offers popups, and if they did I'd probably drop them all together. Which would really hit me where it hurts, since I average around $2.50 a day from them.

    June 11, 2009

  • ps -- Can any further discussion about this take place over on advertising, please? Barbecue is a very nice word and I'd rather not pollute it with talk of base commerce.

    I would give my left pinkie for a really good pulled pork sandwich right now. With pickles.

    June 11, 2009

  • Pickles? Not coleslaw? *boggles*

    p.s. I second yarb's comment, but not on this page.

    June 11, 2009

  • Or, as it's known where I come from, just plain slaw.

    There was a drive-in burger joint where I grew up that had two condiments for their burgers--chili and slaw. The first time I saw anyone put ketchup on a burger I nearly threw up.

    June 11, 2009

  • Yep, pickles. Slaw works too.

    I'm very catholic in my appreciation of condiments. To paraphrase Will Rogers, I never met one I didn't like. There's a greasy burger place in the building where I work. I'm on the 2nd floor, and the kitchen is almost directly below my desk--I'm trying to convince them to install a dumbwaiter. When you order a cheeseburger, they always ask "ketchup, mustard, or mayo," to which I always answer, yes.

    June 11, 2009