giz·​zard ˈgi-zərd How to pronounce gizzard (audio)
: the muscular enlargement of the digestive tract of birds that has usually thick muscular walls and a tough horny lining for grinding the food and when the crop is present follows it and the proventriculus
: a thickened part of the digestive tract in some animals (such as an insect or an earthworm) that is similar in function to the crop of a bird

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The bird recipe incorporates finely ground chicken, bone, heart, liver and gizzard. Dallas News, 22 Dec. 2022 Once your bird is sufficiently thawed, reach into the cavities (there are two!) and pull out the neck and giblets (these usually include the liver, heart and gizzard). Kate Merker, Good Housekeeping, 11 Oct. 2022 The other evidence to support that suggestion is based on the fact that, besides birds, crocodylians also have both a gizzard and an ‘acid’ stomach. Jeanne Timmons, Ars Technica, 6 June 2022 At least 250 gizzard shad were found dead, Maryland Department of the Environment spokesman Jay Apperson said in an email. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 24 Mar. 2022 In owls, this second chamber, called the gizzard, collects bone, teeth and fur, which is later expelled. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Feb. 2022 Unlike most yakitori-inclusive spots in the Bay Area, Tori Man offers you plenty of off cuts: knee cap, cartilage, heart, gizzard, and skin bunched up on the skewer like a ribbon. Soleil Ho, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Aug. 2021 Hearts can be seared quickly, like little bite-sized steaks or minced fine along with the liver and gizzard for a batch of dirty rice. Outdoor Life, 8 Mar. 2021 Captain Mike Walker knows the tricks, slow-trolling huge gizzard shad and suckers on heavy tackle over the channel edges. Frank Sargeant, al, 22 Jan. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'gizzard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


alteration of Middle English giser gizzard, liver, from Anglo-French gesir, giser, from Latin gigeria (plural) giblets

First Known Use

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of gizzard was in 1565

Dictionary Entries Near gizzard

Cite this Entry

“Gizzard.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


giz·​zard ˈgiz-ərd How to pronounce gizzard (audio)
: a large muscular part of the digestive tube (as of a bird or insect) which has a horny lining and in which food is churned and ground into small pieces

Medical Definition


giz·​zard ˈgiz-ərd How to pronounce gizzard (audio)
: the muscular enlargement of the digestive tract of birds that has usually thick muscular walls and a tough horny lining for churning and grinding the food

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