grid·iron | \ˈgrid-ˌī(-ə)rn \

Definition of gridiron 

1 : a grate for broiling food Put the steaks on the gridiron.

2 : something consisting of or covered with a network a gridiron of streets

3 : a football field The two teams will face each other on the gridiron.

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Did You Know?

Modern gridirons are most likely to be covered by football players, but the original gridirons were more likely to be covered with meat or fish; they were metal gratings used for broiling food over an open fire. In Middle English, such a grating was called a gredil, a root that gave modern English both gridiron and griddle. How did gridiron become associated with football? That happened in the late 1800s, when a white grid pattern was added to football fields to help enforce new rules about how many yards a team had to gain to keep possession of the ball. From high up in the stands, the lines made the playing fields look like cooking gridirons.

Examples of gridiron in a Sentence

The book recounts his many moments of glory on the gridiron.

Recent Examples on the Web

The pizza wars involve as much momentum and strategy as any gridiron contest. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Papa John’s Founder Fumbles the Ball Again," 11 July 2018 Each year, future pro football stars are selected by NFL teams with the promise of years of gridiron glory. Jim Reineking, USA TODAY, "Every team's most agonizing NFL draft pick in last 20 years," 25 Apr. 2018 Over on the gridiron there was a lot going on in Ohio this weekend. Cincinnati Enquirer,, "Recruiting Trail: Anderson's Correll commits to Notre Dame, NCC's Kelly to Ohio," 18 June 2018 World Cup fever has expanded to the gridiron in South Florida. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "What would Miami Dolphins-themed soccer kits look like? Here’s a look," 13 July 2018 Moving to the gridiron, ’20 Princeton defensive back Elijah Eberhardt received an offer from Western Michigan on April 17. John Snodgrass,, "Recruiting Trail: WC' Vogt picks Cleveland State, WH's Gibson offered by W. Carolina," 19 Apr. 2018 The other three are first-time state qualifiers in boys basketball, and the Westlake-Allen semifinal looks more like a marquee championship game on the gridiron than a key showdown on hardwood. Jason Mcdaniel, Houston Chronicle, "HS boys basketball notebook: State 6A semifinals welcome Tompkins, newcomers," 8 Mar. 2018 For a group of moms whose sons play football at The King's Academy, the event provided an opportunity to get a real feel into the preparations that go into a season on the gridiron. Mike May,, "Moms spend anything but a quiet evening — on the football field," 17 June 2018 Since Jim Bonds took over as head football coach at St. Francis in 2000, the Golden Knights have been one of the premiere local teams on the gridiron. Charles Rich,, "Local teams see winds of change in fall season," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gridiron.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of gridiron

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for gridiron

Middle English gredire, alteration of gridel, gredil griddle

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The first known use of gridiron was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of gridiron

: a metal grid for cooking food over a fire

: the field on which American football is played


grid·iron | \ˈgrid-ˌī-ərn \

Kids Definition of gridiron

1 : a grate for cooking food over a fire

2 : a football field

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Comments on gridiron

What made you want to look up gridiron? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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