1685, from Fr. gril, from O.Fr. greil, alteration of graille, from L. craticula "gridiron, small griddle," dim. of cratis "wickerwork." The verb meaning "to broil on a grill" is from 1668; figurative sense from 1842, and the specific (trans.) sense of "to subject to intense questioning" is first attested 1894. In many instances, Mod.Eng. grill is a shortened form of grille (q.v.), such as "chrome front of an automobile."