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gizzard

[giz-erd] /ˈgɪz ərd/
noun, Zoology
1.
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.
2.
Also called gastric mill. a similar structure in the foregut of arthropods and several other invertebrates, often lined with chitin and small teeth.
3.
the innards or viscera collectively, especially the intestine and stomach.
Origin
1325-1375
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
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for gizzards

gizzard

/ˈɡɪzəd/
noun
1.
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
2.
a similar structure in many invertebrates
3.
(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

gizzard

n.

"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
gizzard
  (gĭz'ərd)   
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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Encyclopedia Article for gizzards

gizzard

in many birds, the hind part of the stomach, especially modified for grinding food. Located between the saclike crop and the intestine, the gizzard has a thick muscular wall and may contain small stones, or gastroliths, that function in the mechanical breakdown of seeds and other foods. In this sense, the gizzard is comparable to the teeth of other animals. A few other animals, such as earthworms and some moss animals, also have gizzardlike structures.

Learn more about gizzard with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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