Definition of gridiron in US English:



  • 1A frame of parallel bars or beams, typically in two sets arranged at right angles.

    1. 1.1 A frame of parallel metal bars used for grilling meat or fish over an open fire.
      • ‘Show vegetarians the courtesy of either a separate barbecue or a fresh gridiron.’
      • ‘By the early 1800's, gridirons were not used as much as most homes had begun using kitchen stoves upon which to cook.’
    2. 1.2 A frame of parallel beams for supporting a ship in dock.
    3. 1.3 (in the theater) a framework over a stage supporting scenery and lighting.
      • ‘The stage is equipped with traps, a fly loft, lights, ladders and the height from stage to gridiron is 40 feet.’
  • 2A field for football, marked with regularly spaced parallel lines.

    • ‘The NFL is filled with really bright people who have their lives in order and are interested in just doing a good job and pursuing excellence on the gridiron.’
    • ‘It doesn't much resemble the game that we have been watching for the past 20 weeks on NFL gridirons, but that doesn't mean that the players are playing hard.’
    • ‘He was a black college athlete as gifted academically as on the gridiron.’
    • ‘No longer content with ruling the wrestling world, McMahon embarked on a new ‘turf war,’ this time on the gridiron.’
    • ‘More than 200 motion pictures have been made using the gridiron as a backdrop.’
    • ‘For the remainder of his playing days, Barnes made notes and sketches at the end of each game about things he felt and saw on the gridiron.’
    • ‘Despite appearing on the gridiron in only a trio of games, his numbers reflect the impact he can have on a game's outcome.’
    • ‘Giants TE Jeremy Shockey was named the NFL's Rookie of the Year Wednesday, capping off a season in which his production on the field was often overshadowed by his antics off the gridiron.’
    • ‘But you can't deny this: He was the ultimate field general, moving his teammates across the gridiron as if they were chess pieces.’
    • ‘He certainly is focused on being the best defensive end the game has ever known, but his life doesn't begin and end on the gridiron.’
    • ‘He imagined the gridiron was a chessboard and that he was playing against the other team's coaching staff.’
    • ‘Players knocked unconscious on the gridiron are often hit in the same vulnerable area of head.’
    • ‘For nine years Esera Tuaolo played in the National Football League, running onto gridirons to the roar of thousands of fans.’
    • ‘The BCA's and Cochran's positions basically come down to pressuring college administrators into allowing more African Americans to lead their teams on the gridiron.’
    • ‘Formed 20 years ago in Colchester, the Gladiators American football team will be pounding the gridiron for a match against the Essex University team, the Essex Blades.’
    • ‘Since the 1960s, the gridiron, baseball field, basketball court, and boxing ring have spawned legions of entrepreneurs who sought to compete in the business arena.’
    • ‘A finer man and a better coach never hit these United States, and a finer bunch of boys, never graced the gridirons of the Midwest, than that Iowa team in 1939.’
    • ‘2K5 is no exception to this commemoration, and it includes some of the classic football moments ever seen on a gridiron.’
    • ‘And if their skills can equal their enthusiasm and desire, you may be seeing more and more women on the gridiron catching touchdown passes instead of on the sidelines cheering on the players.’
    • ‘Next month we take a look at athletes who have demonstrated business savvy by developing thriving enterprises while still making moves on the gridiron, baseball field, or basketball court.’
    1. 2.1North American The game of football.
      as modifier ‘the national gridiron season’
      • ‘All over America, gridiron fans sat on their couches, cracked open another Bud, and awaited the conclusion.’
      • ‘And let's make the distinction clear: American football, or gridiron, or whatever you want to call it, is football.’
      • ‘And so Canton, Ohio, an hour south of Cleveland - not all that far from Akron and the NEC World Golf Championship - is famed as the birthplace of professional gridiron football.’
      • ‘In small communities like the one in which I was raised generations of former gridiron warriors fill the bleachers to watch their sons and grandsons battle the descendants of their own regional foes.’
      • ‘There has been a global trend for television rights to fetch lower prices in recent years, with News Corp. writing down the value of contracts for gridiron, Major League Baseball and Nascar.’
      • ‘Until the rise of professional gridiron football in the 1950s it had no rival.’
      • ‘What's interesting to me here is the importance of sport to Americans and Brits, particularly football - gridiron and/or soccer.’
      • ‘Young, gifted and black, Jordan was the perfect role model for a generation of young black men, and sent basketball rocketing ahead of baseball and into competition with gridiron as America's game of choice.’
      • ‘And turn on the TV, I think that American gridiron Superbowl grand final is on today.’
      • ‘Condensing the playoffs would also avoid competition with the World Series, National Football League games, and college gridiron games.’
      • ‘Tennis is in crisis in the US, and is in danger of being overwhelmed by the blanket coverage awarded to baseball, basketball and gridiron.’
      • ‘Once a collegiate football superstar destined for gridiron greatness until an auto accident ended his athletic career, David now slogs through his dull gray day-to-day, a real nowhere man living in a nowhere land.’
      • ‘Fret not, gridiron fans - college football returns in a little over seven months, and a dozen teams already look like contenders…’
      • ‘As a result, he has given ordinary guys who share his love for the sport a chance to be gridiron legends.’
      • ‘These days the vast majority of professional gridiron, and basketball teams in America employ cheerleaders, and there's no doubt that they are viewed by most players and fans as mere sex objects.’
      • ‘If you're used to the pace of AFL or rugby union, then watching gridiron is like chess with helmets - lots of waiting around for five seconds of flurried activity.’
      • ‘We look on baseball and gridiron as the quintessential American sports, but in truth these days, all sports are American sports.’
      • ‘A former wrestler and gridiron player in Canada, he moved to Britain to study at Oxford University, where he earned three blues and a degree in history.’
      • ‘The National Football League and city of Los Angeles officials have reached a preliminary agreement on terms to bring a pro gridiron team back to the Los Angeles Coliseum.’
      • ‘It has also become common practice in basketball, gridiron and other major sports in the United States.’
  • 3

    another term for grid (sense 2 of the noun)
    • ‘It is in America that the gridiron streetplan beloved of countless utopians has had its most rampant expression.’


Middle English gredire, alteration of gredile ‘griddle’ by association with iron.