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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Every part of an animal is used: chicken's feet, fish eyes, offal and fat are great delicacies.
▪ He would have time to stow away the kohlrabi, the offal and the edenwort.
▪ In the mid 1850s the market place was unpaved and manure, offal and dung were often thrown into the square.
▪ Of the offal which could be bought off-ration and disguised as food.
▪ The city has flowered upon its own offal.
▪ The first week he vomited daily from the stench of the feces and offal and rotting meat.
▪ The highest proportion of cholesterol is found in egg yolk, offal, shellfish, red meat, butter and cream.
▪ They sometimes got incredibly bold in the competition for the fish offal.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

offal \of"fal\, n. [Off + fall.]

  1. The rejected or waste parts of any process, especially the inedible parts of a butchered animal, such as the viscera.

  2. A dead body; carrion.

  3. That which is thrown away as worthless or unfit for use; refuse; rubbish.

    The offals of other professions.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

late 14c., "waste parts, refuse," from off + fall (v.); the notion being that which "falls off" the butcher's block; perhaps a translation of Middle Dutch afval.


n. 1 The rejected or waste parts of a butchered animal. 2 The internal organs of an animal other than a bird, these organs being used as food. 3 A dead body. 4 carrion. 5 That which is thrown away as worthless or unfit for use; refuse; rubbish.


n. viscera and trimmings of a butchered animal often considered inedible by humans


Offal , also called variety meats, pluck or organ meats, refers to the internal organs and entrails of a butchered animal. The word does not refer to a particular list of edible organs, which varies by culture and region, but includes most internal organs excluding muscle and bone. As an English mass noun, the term "offal" has no plural form. Some cultures shy away from offal as food, while others use it as everyday food, or in delicacies. Certain offal dishes—including foie gras, pâté and sweetbread—are considered gourmet food in international cuisine. Others remain part of traditional regional cuisine and may be consumed especially in connection with holidays. This includes Scottish haggis, Jewish chopped liver, U.S. chitterlings, Mexican menudo as well as many other dishes. Intestines are traditionally used as casing for sausages.

Depending on the context, offal may refer to those parts of an animal carcass discarded after butchering or skinning; it may also refer to the by-products of milled grains, such as corn or wheat. Offal not used directly for human or animal food is often processed in a rendering plant, producing material that is used for fertilizer or fuel; or in some cases, it may be added to commercially produced pet food.

In earlier times, mobs sometimes threw offal and other rubbish at condemned criminals as a show of public disapproval:

Usage examples of "offal".

This building abuts on the water, and there, in the clear depth, they could see big, blue sharks laying for the offal that is thrown from the slaughter house.

At one point there was a refuse dump, and here the rock ledges were white with the guana of carrion birds, and lank, half-starved dogs snarled and fought over the offal of an unclean people and their animals.

The prince scrambled to his feet, and without so much as a downward glance at the clinging bits of offal that adorned his gold-trimmed kaftan, he clasped its hem and made his departure with great, leaping strides.

Smells of offal, of drugs, sweet sputtering torchwood, narrow thoroughfares that still managed to exude a stink despite the crispness of the frosty air, all mingled together in the nostrils of the big man, making him want to choke, or curse, or both.

Street-vendors appear from under the scaffold to offer mugs of water and aniseed, pushing and jostling past sellers of bread and offal, of boiled squid and cactus fruit.

From a stainless-steel cabinet in the corner he brought over two sealed specimen jars containing a mass of mangled human offal half immersed in a bloodied liquid.

He spurred his mount on with another mantra, riding to the aid of the fallen horseman trapped beneath his own mount, its head hacked off and still gushing dark blood, everything coated with a thick layer of brownish-black offal streaked with patches of mucous slime.

Thyrans had tossed her to the Outdwellers as one tosses offal to hungry dogs.

It will be understood, that these boxes above described, are within a partitioned room, with a floor, in their rear, with sufficient space for the person in charge of them to pass along, and to hold the baskets, or whatever is to receive the offal of their boxes, as it is taken out.

Lancelot and Bors had held the Merman Gate and how they had carpeted the sands with Prankish dead and glutted the gulls with Prankish offal.

Maybe that accounted for the offal: a couple of osprechs were hobbled near the creek, just upstream of the house.

Better you give her to the lowest Egyptian offal carrier than to that sheep-rutting Bactrian nephew of yours.

Curses were howled, and bits of offal and refuse thrown, and now a scarred Shinwari stooped and caught up a stone which he cast at the white man.

While my millions of brethren and sistren chew, chew, chew their way through whatever offal comes along, inexorable but mindless, I preserve my energies for the sweetest meat: the carcass tainted by fear.

The alligators were receiving offal: loads of lights and ox-liver, sweetbreads and heart.