Definition of offal in English:



mass noun
  • 1The entrails and internal organs of an animal used as food.

    ‘eating pieces of braised offal turned his stomach’
    count noun ‘a ban on infective offals being fed to pigs’
    with modifier ‘beef offal’
    • ‘These are made of liver, fat bacon, and sometimes sweetbreads or other offal or lean pork, with garlic, sometimes shallots, and herbs and spices - but not with breadcrumbs or other cereal.’
    • ‘Sheep offal in cattle feed was banned in 1989.’
    • ‘The butchers had belly of pork, breast of lamb, brisket of beef, neck of lamb, offal such as liver and heart, and hock of bacon.’
    • ‘It is made with many offal tidbits, it is necessary to cook the offals separately before they are combined and cooked together.’
    • ‘The tariffs hit products as diverse as tomatoes, glue, onions, truffles, chocolate, mustard and animal offal.’
    • ‘A main course of veal and veal offal was very good indeed.’
    • ‘The firm was one of seven renderers in the state that processed animal offal into meat and bonemeal.’
    • ‘Industry analysts say the meat is filling shelves left empty by Japan's continuing ban on US beef and offal, after a single case of BSE was detected late last year.’
    • ‘Pork offal fetches a higher price in the market than does the animal's fillet.’
    • ‘Anyway, about twice a year I still get the primeval urge to eat offal.’
    • ‘At this point I realised that although I had always hated offal of any kind, I had actually missed eating certain meats, really missed them.’
    • ‘And, for the most part, the dishes didn't rely on offal or odd ingredients - no nose-to-tail cooking here.’
    • ‘An advisory was given to manufacturers of baby foods not to include ruminant offals in their products.’
    • ‘Foods to avoid include red meat, particularly game, offal, beef, pork and lamb.’
    • ‘Eating offal is not about bravado, it's a completely wonderful flavour.’
    • ‘The foundation said consumers should for the time being avoid eating beef offal.’
    • ‘They were invited to sample haggis, the national dish of Scotland - that spicy mix of offal, suet and vegetables, delicately encased in sheep's intestines.’
    • ‘Certain limited measures were introduced which undermined this claim, including a ban on the use of specified bovine offals in the human food chain.’
    • ‘Around 10 makers of tripe and animal feed received offal and meat products from the same BSE-tainted herd.’
    • ‘I was listening to a farmer on the radio who said: ‘We don't just scrape up diseased sheep offal and feed it to cows.’’
    intestines, internal organs, bowels, guts, vital organs, viscera
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Waste material.
      ‘the packing plant dumped its offal into the stream’
      • ‘The deceased died as the result of the accident which occurred while he was unloading offal into an enclosed pit at the plant in Cahir.’
      • ‘There's still that familiar stench, a mixture of open sewers, rotting rubbish and offal from street butchers' stalls mixed with dust and petrol fumes.’
      • ‘While disappointed that someone would dump offal, he said he had been encouraged by the council's response to his call.’
      • ‘They swim up rivers and are often the first to use areas where fishermen dump their offal.’
      • ‘Though our smaller processors may not be able to sell offal as the larger plants do, they can certainly bypass rendering plant fees and even sell the finished compost.’
      • ‘Business owners were sickened when bags of offal were dumped near their premises in the River Darwen.’
      • ‘The early targets had been water supplies contaminated by human waste, slaughterhouse offal, and garbage.’
      • ‘These seagulls are feeding on the effluent from the farm and are also feeding on the food and offal associated with the caged minks.’
    2. 1.2 Decomposing animal flesh.
      ‘gulls pecking at piles of offal from the narwhal hunt’
      • ‘At the river's edge, they were greeted by a pile of stinking, fly-covered offal.’
      • ‘Large aggregations of birds can be found behind fishing boats, feeding on offal.’
      • ‘The dragonfly is a sleek, graceful insect that doesn't deserve to have its reputation sullied by being associated with this pile of offal.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘refuse from a process’): probably suggested by Middle Dutch afval, from af ‘off’ + vallen ‘to fall’.