grid·​iron | \ ˈgrid-ˌī(-ə)rn How to pronounce gridiron (audio) \

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.

Did you know?

Modern gridirons are covered in football players when they're in use, 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 His accomplishments on the gridiron were extensive and varied. Marvin Pave,, 12 May 2022 Journalist and sports historian Richard Bak revisits the prosperous post-war period and recalls many of the heroes of the gridiron for the Lions. John J. Kelly, Detroit Free Press, 7 Dec. 2020 These women have broken barriers to get to this stage of the gridiron. Christopher Brito, CBS News, 28 Sep. 2020 Whether dominating on the gridiron as a college football star, fighting in Vietnam or captaining a shrimp boat, Forrest inspires people with his childlike optimism. Travis Bean, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 The National Football League is coming out with its first VR game title, promising to embed fans in gridiron action like never before. Todd Spangler, Variety, 23 Mar. 2022 But a lot of us schedule our trips to the bathroom or fridge during the gridiron action in order to catch an annual parade of commercials boasting bigger budgets and stars than some movies. Joe Lynch, Billboard, 13 Feb. 2022 But that isn't the only gridiron action worth watching this week. Gabriel Stovall, The Courier-Journal, 24 Sep. 2021 Will the Ducks defense be significantly better on the gridiron? oregonlive, 4 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near gridiron

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gridiron pendulum

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Gridiron.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for gridiron


grid·​iron | \ ˈgrid-ˌī-ərn How to pronounce gridiron (audio) \

Kids Definition of gridiron

1 : a grate for cooking food over a fire
2 : a football field

More from Merriam-Webster on gridiron

Nglish: Translation of gridiron for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gridiron for Arabic Speakers


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