noun of·fal \ˈȯ-fəl, ˈä-\

Definition of offal

  1. 1 :  the waste or by-product of a process: such asa :  trimmings (such as the belly, head, and shoulders) of a hideb :  the by-products of milling (as of wheat or barley) used especially for stock feedsc :  the viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal removed in preparing it for market or for consumption :  variety meat

  2. 2 :  rubbish

offal was our Word of the Day on 05/21/2014. Hear the podcast!

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

OFFAL Defined for English Language Learners


noun of·fal \ˈȯ-fəl, ˈä-\

Definition of offal for English Language Learners

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

Seen and Heard

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feeling or affected by lethargy

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