Definition of gizzard in English:



  • 1A muscular, thick-walled part of a bird's stomach for grinding food, typically with grit.

    Also called ventriculus
    • ‘It usually contains pebbles and seems to be used for ‘chewing’ in much the same way as a bird's gizzard.’
    • ‘Grain is stored in their crops and ground by the grit in their gizzard.’
    • ‘Herbivorous, granivorous and insectivorous birds have a highly specialized, muscular gizzard with an inner lining of hard cuticle.’
    • ‘Due to their soft food diet, lorikeets have a weak ventricular muscle or gizzard, which is usually used for grinding seeds by other birds.’
    • ‘As there were no crushing teeth in the mouth, vegetation must have been swallowed and then crushed in a gizzard similar to that found in many birds.’
    • ‘They have been known, like other members of this group, to swallow grit to help grind coarse food in their gizzards.’
    • ‘Place the pigeon breasts, heart, gizzards, and legs in the yogurt and refrigerate overnight.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, the time that a hard piece of gravel or grit spends in the gizzard can be quite variable: sometimes a few days, sometimes a few months.’
    • ‘Their digestion is also aided by a muscular gizzard containing stones to help break down food’
    • ‘Small crustaceans and young molluscs make up the bulk of their diet, along with algal cells, which are ground up in the muscular gizzard at the beginning of the gut.’
    • ‘Grit is used by many birds to help them grind their food in their gizzards.’
    • ‘They draw out guts, pull livers, cut wings and gizzards, pop thigh bones.’
    • ‘Historical reports were anecdotal, based on collection of a limited number of individual birds and generating a simple list of food items found in gizzards.’
    • ‘Mammals differ because they expect their teeth to do the work of a gizzard or large, muscular gut.’
    • ‘Chickens need grit in their gizzards to grind up the food they eat so they can get the most nutrition out of it.’
    1. 1.1A muscular stomach of some fish, insects, mollusks, and other invertebrates.
      • ‘Herbivorous fishes posses specialized organs, such as extended guts, pharyngeal mills and gizzards, that allow them to exploit various reef plants and algae.’
      • ‘We conducted two mesocosm experiments to determine the effects of sediment feeding by gizzard shad and fish size on nutrient and phytoplankton dynamics.’
      • ‘In Florida, the diet was comprised mainly of fishes, with gizzard shad, bullhead catfish, and small bluegill particularly common.’
      • ‘Two fish in the gizzard shad-access treatment (two different enclosures) died 8 days following the introduction of fish.’
      • ‘We manipulated sediment access and fish size during two mesocosm experiments to determine how these factors could alter the effects of gizzard shad on phytoplankton.’
      • ‘Significant effects of gizzard shad access likely occurred due to the additional surface area provided for periphyton by the mesh netting.’
    2. 1.2informal A person's stomach or throat.
      ‘the fans wanted to see him rip the gizzards out of bad guys’
      • ‘I'm going to tear out his gizzard and feed it to my cat.’
      • ‘What is gnawing at my gizzard?’
      • ‘Master Splinter says it needs another coat, or he'll tear my gizzards out.’
      • ‘I washed it down with his Dad's home made wine - it may wipe out my gizzard in the process, but I felt sure it would kill my tastebuds too, and as far as I was concerned, that's all that mattered.’


Late Middle English giser: from Old French, based on Latin gigeria cooked entrails of fowl The final -d was added in the 16th century.