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[giz-erd] /ˈgɪz ərd/
noun, Zoology
Also called ventriculus. a thick-walled, muscular pouch in the lower stomach of many birds and reptiles that grinds food, often with the aid of ingested stones or grit.
Also called gastric mill. a similar structure in the foregut of arthropods and several other invertebrates, often lined with chitin and small teeth.
the innards or viscera collectively, especially the intestine and stomach.
Origin of gizzard
1325-75; Middle English giser < Old French giser, gezier (French gésier) < Vulgar Latin *gigerium; compare Latin gigeria, gizeria giblets, perhaps ultimately < Iranian; compare Persian jigar liver Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for gizzards


the thick-walled part of a bird's stomach, in which hard food is broken up by muscular action and contact with grit and small stones
a similar structure in many invertebrates
(informal) the stomach and entrails generally
Word Origin
C14: from Old North French guisier fowl's liver, alteration of Latin gigēria entrails of poultry when cooked, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for gizzards



"stomach of a bird," late 14c., from Old French gisier (Modern French gésier) "entrails, giblets (of a bird)," probably from Vulgar Latin *gicerium, dissimilated from Latin gigeria (neuter plural) "cooked entrails of a fowl," a delicacy in ancient Rome, from PIE *yekwr- "liver" (see hepatitis). Parasitic -d added 1500s. Later extended to other animals, and, jocularly, to human beings.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gizzards in Science
A muscular pouch behind the stomach in birds. It has a thick lining and often contains swallowed sand or grit, which helps in the mechanical breakdown of food.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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