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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
  • Ain't gonna happen, no matter how much adjuncts starve themselves and wallow in offal.
  • Sophie's inconsequential and useless existence leaves her healthy, well-off and happy as a dog rolling in offal.
  • Oh and some of the more appetizing dishes made from edible offal.
  • Look how quickly our taste for offal, sous-vide cooking and tasting menus have grown.
  • Segments of pigeon were served with smoked potatoes and strewed atop an action painting of offal gravy.
  • In the case of beef offal, particularly livers, there is a slightly larger market.
  • The presence of free food in the form of offal and bait attracts many birds to fishing operations.
  • Decedent was dumping a load of offal from a tractor trailer.
  • He was in the process of dumping offal into a bin when the tailgate malfunctioned.
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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