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

  • transitive v. To reduce to fragments, shreds, or powder by rubbing against an abrasive surface.
  • transitive v. To cause to make a harsh grinding or rasping sound through friction: grated her teeth in anger.
  • transitive v. To irritate or annoy persistently.
  • transitive v. Archaic To rub or wear away.
  • intransitive v. To make a harsh rasping sound by or as if by scraping or grinding.
  • intransitive v. To cause irritation or annoyance: a noise that grates on one's nerves.
  • n. A harsh rasping sound made by scraping or rubbing: the grate of a key in a lock.
  • n. A framework of parallel or latticed bars for blocking an opening.
  • n. A framework of metal bars used to hold fuel or food in a stove, furnace, or fireplace.
  • n. A fireplace.
  • n. A perforated iron plate or screen for sieving and grading crushed ore.
  • transitive v. To equip with a grate.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A horizontal metal grille through which water, ash, or small objects can fall, while larger objects cannot.
  • v. To shred things, usually foodstuffs, by rubbing across a grater.
  • v. To rub against, making a (usually unpleasant) squeaking sound.
  • v. To grate on one’s nerves; to irritate or annoy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Serving to gratify; agreeable.
  • n. A structure or frame containing parallel or crosed bars, with interstices; a kind of latticework, such as is used ia the windows of prisons and cloisters.
  • n. A frame or bed, or kind of basket, of iron bars, for holding fuel while burning.
  • intransitive v. To make a harsh sound by friction.
  • intransitive v. To produce the effect of rubbing with a hard rough material; to cause wearing, tearing, or bruising. Hence; To produce exasperation, soreness, or grief; to offend by oppression or importunity.
  • transitive v. To furnish with grates; to protect with a grating or crossbars.
  • transitive v. To rub roughly or harshly, as one body against another, causing a harsh sound; ; to produce (a harsh sound) by rubbing.
  • transitive v. To reduce to small particles by rubbing with anything rough or indented.
  • transitive v. To fret; to irritate; to offend.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To rub together or against strongly so as to produce a harsh scraping sound: as, to grate the teeth.
  • To reduce to small particles by rubbing or rasping with something rough or indented: as, to grate a nutmeg or the peel of a lemon.
  • To affect harshly and painfully, as if by abrasion; fret.
  • To produce a harsh or jarring sound of, as by the friction of rough bodies.
  • To scratch or scrape with; use for attrition or abrasion.
  • To make a harsh or rasping sound by friction or attrition; give out a scraping noise.
  • To produce a harsh impression; cause irritation or chafing.
  • To furnish with a grate or grates; fill in with cross-bars: as, to grate a window.
  • Pleasant; agreeable.
  • n. A grater.
  • n. A partition made with bars parallel to or crossing one another; a framework of bars in a door, window, hatchway, or other opening.
  • n. A frame of metal bars in which fuel is burned, especially coal.
  • n. The floor of a fire-box or furnace, formed of a series or group of bars; the bottom of a furnace, on which the fuel rests, and through which it is supplied with air.
  • n. In metallurgy: A perforated metal plate used in the stamping of ores, through which the pounded ore passes.
  • n. A screen.
  • n. An ore-roasting furnace with a grate revolving horizontally.

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

  • v. make a grating or grinding sound by rubbing together
  • n. a harsh rasping sound made by scraping something
  • n. a barrier that has parallel or crossed bars blocking a passage but admitting air
  • v. gnaw into; make resentful or angry
  • v. scratch repeatedly
  • n. a frame of iron bars to hold a fire
  • v. reduce to small shreds or pulverize by rubbing against a rough or sharp perforated surface
  • v. furnish with a grate


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

Middle English graten, from Old French grater, to scrape, of Germanic origin.
Middle English, from Medieval Latin grāta, alteration of Latin crātis, wickerwork.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French grater ("to scrape") ( > French gratter), from Frankish kratton, Proto-Germanic. Cognate with Old High German krazzon ( > German kratzen ("to scrawl") > Danish kradse ), Icelandic krassa ("to scrawl") and Danish kratte.


  • A moderate fire in the grate is the only mode of heating, and they seem quite oblivious to the danger of throwing a door open into a cold hall at one's back, while the servants pass in and out with the various courses at dinner.

    Eighty Years and More: Reminiscences 1815-1897

  • Lenz: There was something really appealing to me about standing around the drain grate tasting barrel samples from an old juice container.


  • This so-called 'drainage' grate is located at the west end of the ravine.

    West Lynn Avenue

  • Another common fault in modern fireplaces is, that they are too shallow to allow sufficient space for the grate; and, when the grate is set too far forward into the room, it is evident that a very strong draught will be required to draw the smoke up the chimney.

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  • The sound of crackle in the grate is the most welcoming soundtrack to an evening with friends.

    Hearths Aflame

  • I like a lively debate but the insults and name-calling grate after a while.

    Election Central | Talking Points Memo | What's Next: The Battle For Edwards Delegates And Supporters

  • A fire burning low in the grate was the sole light of the apartment; its beams flashed mockingly on the somewhat showy Versaillese furniture and gilding here, in style as unlike that of the structural parts of the building as it was possible to be, and probably introduced by

    The Woodlanders

  • Sadly, it seemed that that fire burning passionately in the grate was a make-or-break element for the director, and of course by now, I was desperate: I could taste The Family Stone.

    I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen

  • Barely visible between the bars of the grate was a plastic card.

    The Angel Experiment

  • The bright fire in the grate is a heap of smouldering ashes and all the pictures and dreams are dead.

    Letters of a Dakota Divorcee


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  • as in ingrate

    February 9, 2009