AskDefine | Define grille

Dictionary Definition



1 small opening (like a window in a door) through which business can be transacted [syn: wicket, lattice]
2 grating that admits cooling air to car's radiator [syn: radiator grille]
3 a framework of metal bars used as a partition or a grate; "he cooked hamburgers on the grill" [syn: grill, grillwork]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Grille



  • /gɹɪl/
  • Rhymes with: -ɪl


  1. Alternative spelling of grill.



  1. To grill

Extensive Definition

A grille is an opening of several slits side by side in a wall or metal sheet or other barrier, usually to let air or water enter and/or leave but keep larger objects including people and animals in or out.

In powered vehicles

In automotive engineering, a grille is an opening in the bodywork of a vehicle to allow air to enter. Most vehicles feature a grille at the front of the vehicle to allow air to flow over the radiator and cool the engine compartment. Other common grille locations include below the front bumper, in front of the wheels (to cool the brakes), in the cowl for cabin ventilation, or on the rear deck lid (in rear engine vehicles).
Some cars have what appear to be tiny grilles which are not positioned to duct air through the radiator. These are horn grilles, which enable the sound of the horn to be clearly heard forward.
The grille is often a distinctive styling element, and many marques use it as their primary brand identifier. For example, Jeep has trademarked its seven-bar grille style. Rolls-Royce is famous for arranging its grille bars by hand to ensure that they appear perfectly vertical. Other makers known for their grille styling include Bugatti's horse-collar, BMW's split kidney, Rover's chrome "teeth", Dodge's cross bar, Alfa Romeo's 6-bar shield, Volvo's slash bar, Audi's relatively new, so-called single-frame grille, and an eggrate grill on late-generation Plymouths. The unusual 1971 Plymouth Barracuda grille is known as a cheesegrater. Ford's three-bar grille, introducted on the 2006 Fusion has become distinctive as well.
The contrary styling pattern also occurs. Starting from the late 1930s, Cadillac would alternate its pattern from horizontal bars to various patterns of crosshatching as a simple way of making the car look new from year to year, for this make did not have a standard grille form. Sometimes there is a sort of fashion trend in grille bars. For example, in the early years after World War II, many American car makers generally switched to fewer and thicker grille bars.
A billet grille is an aftermarket part that is used to enhance the style or function of the original OEM grille. They are generally made from billet, solid bar stock aircraft grade aluminum or stainless steel, although some are CNC Machined from one solid sheet of aluminum.
Customizers would alter the grille as a matter of course in personalizing their car, taking the grille bar from another make, for example. Even sheet metal with patterned holes for ventilation grating sold to homeowners for repair has been found filling the grille opening of custom cars.


Grilles on automobiles have taken on different designs through the years. This feature first appeared on automobiles in 1903. Several years later, the arch-shaped design became common and became the standard design on automobile grilles for many years. The "split" grille design first appeared in 1923 on the Alfa Romeo sportscar.
In the 1930s and 1940s, automobile manufacturers became creative with their grille designs. Some these designs were bell-shaped (Buick, Chevrolet, and Pontiac), split and slightly folded (Silver Arrow, Mercury, 1946 Oldsmobile), cross-shaped (pre-war Studebaker Champion models, 1941 Cadillac, 1942 Ford), while some including Packard, Rolls-Royce, and MG-TC models still followed the older arch-shaped design.
Grilles took on a new look after World War II. Following the introduction of the 1947 Buick, Studebaker, and Kaiser, grilles became shorter and wider to accommodate for the change in design.

See also

In heating and ventilating and air conditioning

In heating and ventilating and air conditioning for room air distribution, a grille, specifically spelled with the ending e, is a class of air terminals. Most HVAC grilles are used as return or exhaust air inlets to ducts, but some are used as supply air outlets. Diffusers and nozzles, are, for example, used as supply air outlets too. Registers are a type of HVAC grille that also incorporates an air damper.


grille in German: Kühlergrill
grille in Italian: Calandra (veicoli)
grille in Japanese: フロントグリル

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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