Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

offal

play
noun of·fal \ˈȯ-fəl, ˈä-\

Simple Definition of offal

  • : the organs (such as the liver or kidney) of an animal that are used for food

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of offal

  1. 1 :  the waste or by-product of a process: as a :  trimmings of a hide b :  the by-products of milling used especially for stock feeds c :  the viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal removed in dressing :  variety meat

  2. 2 :  rubbish

Examples of offal in a sentence

  1. <a pile of offal from the tannery operating in the neighborhood>



Did You Know?

In its original sense, offal refers to something that has fallen or been cast away from some process of preparation or manufacture, and it has been used to describe such things as the stalks and dust from tobacco leaves, the less valuable portions of an animal hide, the by-products of milling grain, and the viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal. The word offal, however, is not an etymological cast-off, but is an English original that arose in the late 14th century as a combination of of (the Middle English spelling of "off") and fall, aptly naming that which "falls off" or is cast aside from something else. Since the late 16th century, offal has also been used as a synonym for trash, garbage, and rubbish.

Origin and Etymology of offal

Middle English, from of off + fall


First Known Use: 14th century

Other Animal Husbandry Terms

Rhymes with offal



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up offal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not forbidden by law

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

hiemal vernal estival brumal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ