General English


  • A method of cooking food similar to grilling, generally in the open air over smouldering charcoal or some other form of radiant heat. The meats are often treated with spice mixture.
  • The equipment used to cook meat in this way


  • noun food cooked in the open air, over a charcoal fire
  • noun a metal holder for charcoal over which food is cooked in the open air
  • verb to cook food over a barbecue

Origin & History of “barbecue”

Barbecue originated in the language of the now extinct Taino people of the west Indies. It first emerges in the Haitian creole term barbacoa, which meant simply ‘wooden framework’ (used for other purposes than roasting meat – e.g., as a bed). American Spanish adopted the word, and passed it on to English. compare (buccaneer).