- pieces of beef, fowl, fish, or the like, roasted over an open hearth, especially when basted in a barbecue sauce.
- a framework, as a grill or a spit, or a fireplace for cooking meat or vegetables over an open fire.
- a dressed steer, lamb, or other animal, roasted whole.
- a meal, usually in the open air and often as a political or social gathering, at which meats are roasted over an open hearth or pit.
verb (used with object), bar·be·cued, bar·be·cu·ing.
- to broil or roast whole or in large pieces over an open fire, on a spit or grill, often seasoning with vinegar, spices, salt, and pepper.
- to cook (sliced or diced meat or fish) in a highly seasoned sauce.
verb (used without object), bar·be·cued, bar·be·cu·ing.
- to cook by barbecuing or to entertain at a barbecue: If the weather’s nice, we’ll barbecue in the backyard.
- a meal cooked out of doors over an open fire
- an outdoor party or picnic at which barbecued food is served
- a grill or fireplace used in barbecuing
- the food so cooked
verb -cues, -cuing or -cued (tr)
- to cook (meat, fish, etc) on a grill, usually over charcoal and often with a highly seasoned sauce
- to cook (meat, fish, etc) in a highly seasoned sauce
1650s, “framework for grilling meat, fish, etc.,” from American Spanish barbacoa, from Arawakan (Haiti) barbakoa “framework of sticks,” the raised wooden structure the Indians used to either sleep on or cure meat. Sense of “outdoor meal of roasted meat or fish as a social entertainment” is from 1733; modern popular noun sense of “grill for cooking over an open fire” is from 1931.
1660s, from barbecue (n.). Related: Barbecued; barbecuing.