Definition of offal in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The foundation said consumers should for the time being avoid eating beef offal.’
    • ‘An advisory was given to manufacturers of baby foods not to include ruminant offals in their products.’
    • ‘The tariffs hit products as diverse as tomatoes, glue, onions, truffles, chocolate, mustard and animal offal.’
    • ‘Eating offal is not about bravado, it's a completely wonderful flavour.’
    • ‘And, for the most part, the dishes didn't rely on offal or odd ingredients - no nose-to-tail cooking here.’
    • ‘Certain limited measures were introduced which undermined this claim, including a ban on the use of specified bovine offals in the human food chain.’
    • ‘It is made with many offal tidbits, it is necessary to cook the offals separately before they are combined and cooked together.’
    • ‘Anyway, about twice a year I still get the primeval urge to eat offal.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A main course of veal and veal offal was very good indeed.’
    • ‘Sheep offal in cattle feed was banned in 1989.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Foods to avoid include red meat, particularly game, offal, beef, pork and lamb.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Pork offal fetches a higher price in the market than does the animal's fillet.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The firm was one of seven renderers in the state that processed animal offal into meat and bonemeal.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘Around 10 makers of tripe and animal feed received offal and meat products from the same BSE-tainted herd.’
    intestines, internal organs, bowels, guts, vital organs, viscera
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Refuse or waste material.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The early targets had been water supplies contaminated by human waste, slaughterhouse offal, and garbage.’
      • ‘While disappointed that someone would dump offal, he said he had been encouraged by the council's response to his call.’
      • ‘These seagulls are feeding on the effluent from the farm and are also feeding on the food and offal associated with the caged minks.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They swim up rivers and are often the first to use areas where fishermen dump their offal.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2 Decomposing animal flesh.
      • ‘Large aggregations of birds can be found behind fishing boats, feeding on offal.’
      • ‘At the river's edge, they were greeted by a pile of stinking, fly-covered 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’.