gris·​tle ˈgri-səl How to pronounce gristle (audio) -zəl How to pronounce gristle (audio)
: cartilage
broadly : tough cartilaginous, tendinous, or fibrous matter especially in table meats

Examples of gristle in a Sentence

a cheap piece of meat, full of gristle and fat
Recent Examples on the Web Kristóf’s sentences are like those skeletons, commemorations of indescribable sadness that have been meticulously scrubbed of gore and gristle. Jennifer Krasinski, The New Yorker, 27 June 2023 Berry told him to drench it in barbecue sauce and to not eat it too close to the bone because that's where most of the gristle was. Tony Holt, Arkansas Online, 25 June 2023 My Los Angeles bookshelf filled up, book by book, with the glitter and gristle of L.A. noir. Steph Cha, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2023 There’s no ancillary fat, no extra gristle. Andy Wang, Robb Report, 5 June 2022 Forget her brain, back to her gristle. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 1 Aug. 2022 There is definitional gristle, of course. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 10 Jan. 2022 In fact, one of the choicest bites of the entire meal was an unladylike gnaw of the generous gristle on a bone followed by a spoonful of marrow-thickened soup, bobbing with cubes of cleansing daikon. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, 2 Sep. 2022 Properly ground meat should have a consistent texture with no large pieces of gristle or connective tissue. Brad Fenson, Field & Stream, 14 Feb. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Middle English gristil, from Old English gristle; akin to Middle Low German gristel gristle

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of gristle was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near gristle

Cite this Entry

“Gristle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


gris·​tle ˈgris-əl How to pronounce gristle (audio)
: tough chewy matter in meat served as food that is composed usually of cartilage

Medical Definition


gris·​tle ˈgris-əl How to pronounce gristle (audio)

More from Merriam-Webster on gristle

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