• (British) IPA: /ˈɡɹɪdaɪən/

gridiron (plural gridirons)

  1. An instrument of torture on which people were secured before being burned by fire. [from 13th c.]
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 32, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      I know, there have been found seely boores, who have rather endure to have their feet broiled upon a Greedyron, their fingers ends crusht and wrung with the lock of a Pistoll, their eyes all bloody to be thrust out of their heads with wringing and wresting of a cord about their foreheads, before they would so much as be ransomed.
  2. An iron rack or grate used for broiling meat and fish over coals. [from 14th c.]
Related terms Translations Noun


  1. Any object resembling the rack or grate. [from 15th c.]
  2. (nautical) An openwork frame on which vessels are placed for examination, cleaning, and repairs.
  3. (American football) The field on which American football is played. [from 19th c.]
  4. (uncountable, Australia and New Zealand) A generic term for American and Canadian football, particularly when used to distinguish from other codes of football.
    • 1995 October 3, Peter O′Shea, Sports: Out on the field, The Advocate, [|%22gridiron+players%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XuhuT5_QCNGImQXR25iVBg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22gridiron%20player%22|%22gridiron%20players%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 54],
      He represented Australia in this year′s rugby tour of England and is as well-known in Australia as any top gridiron player is in the United States.
    • 2001, Langston Hughes, Dolan Hubbard, Jackie Robinson: First Negro in Big League Baseball: 1919—, The Collected Works of Langston Hughes, Volume 12: Works for Children and Young Adults, [|%22gridiron+players%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XuhuT5_QCNGImQXR25iVBg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22gridiron%20player%22|%22gridiron%20players%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 106],
      So Jackie′s name became known far and wide as an exceptional gridiron player.
    • 2009, Deborah Healey, Sport and the Law, reference note, UNSW Press, [|%22gridiron+players%22+-intitle:%22%22+-inauthor:%22%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XuhuT5_QCNGImQXR25iVBg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=%22gridiron%20player%22|%22gridiron%20players%22%20-intitle%3A%22%22%20-inauthor%3A%22%22&f=false page 271],
      119 Yasser (1985) cites the famous US example of gridiron player Dick Butkus of the Chicago Bears.
Synonyms Translations Verb

gridiron (gridirons, present participle gridironing; past and past participle gridironed)

  1. To mark or cover with lines; to crisscross.
    • 1901, Archibald John Little, Mount Omi and Beyond: A Record of Travel on the Thibetan Border, Cambridge University Press, 2010, Conclusion, p. 242,
      This basin of Szechuan (literally "Four Streams," but which, reading the character idiographically, I should be inclined to render as "Gridironed by Streams"), […]
    • 1923, Maximilian P.E. Groszmann, A Parent's Manual: Child Problems, Mental and Moral, New York: Century, p. 74,
      Another logical method is that of gridironing the field by a series of straight paths that are parallel to each other.
    • 1924, Herman Melville, Billy Budd, London: Constable & Co., Chapter 8,
      When Billy saw the culprit's naked back under the scourge gridironed with red welts, and worse […] Billy was horrified.
    • 1949, Lewis Sinclair, The God-Seeker, New York: Popular Library, Chapter 42, p. 227,
      His white back, gridironed with scars, was as soft as a baby's.
    • 2012, Janet Wallach, The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age, New York: Anchor Books, 2013, Chapter 8, p. 111,
      Railways spanned the continent and gridironed the states.
  2. (NZ, historical) To purchase land so that the remaining adjacent sections are smaller than the minimum area purchasable as freehold, thus excluding potential freeholders.

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