A grille (French word from Latin "craticula", small grill) 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 the US, it is often misspelled grill, a closely related word. [ [ "grill" page in an auto part site] ] [ [ Manufacturer of automotive grilles.] ] [ [] ]

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. [web cite|url=|title=Daimler Chrysler loses battle for injunction against GM H2 grille|accessdate=2006-07-17|date=2002-11-18] 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.

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. ["Designer's Guide to Ceiling-Based Air Diffusion", ASHRAE, Inc., Atlanta, GA, USA, 2002] 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.ASHRAE Handbook: Fundamentals (SI Edition), 1997]

ee also

*Diffuser (automotive)


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  • grille — [ grij ] n. f. • 1508; crille 1402; greille XIIIe ; a. fr. gradilie (980) « gril »; lat. craticula « petit gril » I ♦ 1 ♦ Assemblage à claire voie de barreaux entrecroisés ou non, fermant une ouverture ou servant de séparation à l intérieur d un… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • grillé — grille [ grij ] n. f. • 1508; crille 1402; greille XIIIe ; a. fr. gradilie (980) « gril »; lat. craticula « petit gril » I ♦ 1 ♦ Assemblage à claire voie de barreaux entrecroisés ou non, fermant une ouverture ou servant de séparation à l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • grillé — grillé, ée 1. (gri llé, llée, ll mouillées) part. passé de griller1. 1°   Cuit sur le gril. Des côtelettes grillées.    Brûlé sur un gril. •   Esclave comme Montézume, Grillé comme Guatimozin, LA MOTTE Fabl. IV, 40.    Par exagération. Trop… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Grille — Grille, von lat. gryllus, bezeichnet: ein Insekt, siehe Echte Grillen eine Schrulle, Wahnvorstellung, Fixe Idee unter Grillen versteht man auch das Braten von Fleisch und anderem Gargut über offenem Feuer und Glut ein deutsches gepanzertes… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grille — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Los grille fueron cañones de artillería autopropulsada, utilizados por el ejército alemán durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. La serie de los «Grille» fue basada en el tanque de combate …   Wikipedia Español

  • grille — Grille. s. f. Plusieurs barreaux de bois, ou de fer, se traversant les uns les autres, pour empescher qu on ne passe par une fenestre, ou par une autre ouverture. Il faut mettre des grilles à ces fenestres qui sont sur la ruë. on ne parle à ces… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • Grille — Grille, a. [F. See {Grill}, v. t.] A lattice or grating. [1913 Webster] The grille which formed part of the gate. L. Oliphant. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Grille — Sf std. (10. Jh.), mhd. grille m., ahd. grillo m. Stammwort Letztlich lautmalenden Ursprungs. Ob es aus gleichbedeutendem l. gryllus m. (sehr spät bezeugt) entlehnt ist, kann offen bleiben. Im Deutschen findet das Wort Anschluß an die Sippe von… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • grille — ornamental grating, 1660s, from Fr. grille (fem.) grating, from O.Fr. greille gridiron, from L. craticula gridiron (see GRILL (Cf. grill)). The distinction in Fr. between grille and grill ... appears to date from about the 16th c. [OED] …   Etymology dictionary

  • grille — UK [ɡrɪl] / US or grill UK / US noun [countable] Word forms grille : singular grille plural grilles 1) a metal frame with bars or wire across it that is used for protecting a door or a window 2) the radiator of a motor vehicle • See: grill III …   English dictionary

  • Grille — Grille: Der Name des Insektes mhd. grille, ahd. grillo beruht auf einer Entlehnung aus lat. grillus »Heuschrecke, Grille«, das selbst lautnachahmenden Ursprungs ist. – Seit dem 16. Jh. wird das Wort auch im übertragenen Sinne von »wunderlicher… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

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