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), barbecued, barbecuing.
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), barbecued, barbecuing.
to cook by barbecuing or to entertain at a barbecue: If the weather's nice, we'll barbecue in the backyard.

1655–65; < Spanish barbacoa < Arawak (perhaps Taino) barbacoa a raised frame of sticks

barbecuer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
barbecue (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
vb , -cues, -cuing, -cued
5.  to cook (meat, fish, etc) on a grill, usually over charcoal and often with a highly seasoned sauce
6.  to cook (meat, fish, etc) in a highly seasoned sauce
[C17: from American Spanish barbacoa, probably from Taino: frame made of sticks]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1650s, from Amer.Sp. barbacoa, from Arawakan (Haiti) 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," modern popular noun sense of "grill for cooking over an open fire" is from 1931.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


an outdoor meal, usually a form of social entertainment, at which meats, fish, or fowl, along with vegetables, are roasted over a wood or charcoal fire. The term also denotes the grill or stone-lined pit for cooking such a meal, or the food itself, particularly the strips of meat. The word "barbecue" came into English via the Spanish, who adopted the term from the Arawak Indians of the Caribbean, to whom the barbacoa was a grating of green wood upon which strips of meat were placed to cook or to dry over a slow fire

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
It is officially barbecue season or, for those to whom barbecue means burying a
  pig in a hole in the ground, grill season.
Tomorrow's noon meal, the one at the end of my shift, should be a barbecue.
Real, slow-cooked barbecue takes time, but this dish is truly worth it.
Wearing barbecue mitts, remove pan from grill and gently shake asparagus in pan
  until oil coats bottom and sides of pan evenly.
Image for barbecue
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