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[aw-fuh l, of-uh l] /ˈɔ fəl, ˈɒf əl/
the parts of a butchered animal that are considered inedible by human beings; carrion.
the parts of a butchered animal removed in dressing; viscera.
refuse; rubbish; garbage.
Origin of offal
1350-1400; Middle English, equivalent to of off + fal fall; compare Dutch afval
Can be confused
awful, awesome, offal (see usage note at awful) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for offal
Contemporary Examples
  • This is the home base of the "King of offal," Chris Cosentino.

    Fresh Picks Eli Kirshtein February 22, 2010
  • Incanto is the home base of the “King of offal,” who is known for cooking any part of any animal.

    Fresh Picks Eli Kirshtein February 22, 2010
Historical Examples
  • The method in which a camp shall be drained, and the offal disposed of, is prescribed.

  • offal and carrion were strewn all about the place; it swarmed with flies.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
  • You know that Crows are dirty birds, and they feed on offal and refuse, and people dislike them; but the Swan was white and clean.

    The Talking Thrush William Crooke
  • I have seen poor Mary contending for the offal, with the pigs in the street.

    My Bondage and My Freedom Frederick Douglass
  • The offal, which ordinarily he would have thrown away, he laid on a saucer-sized lily pad and took to the house with him.

    Swamp Cat James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • They dropped and died on the dust-heaps they had been rummaging for offal.

    The Dop Doctor Clotilde Inez Mary Graves
  • Some people who buy in this way think that they are being defrauded if the marketman weighs the bird before removing the offal.

    Our Domestic Birds John H. Robinson
  • Let him die now, before our eyes, and let his carcase be given as offal to the dogs.

    The Great White Queen William Le Queux
British Dictionary definitions for offal


the edible internal parts of an animal, such as the heart, liver, and tongue
dead or decomposing organic matter
refuse; rubbish
Word Origin
C14: from off + fall, referring to parts fallen or cut off; compare German Abfall rubbish
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for offal

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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