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[giz-erd] /ˈgɪz ərd/
noun, Zoology.
Also called ventriculus. a thick-walled, muscular pouch in the lower stomach of many birds and reptiles that grinds food, often with the aid of ingested stones or grit.
Also called gastric mill. a similar structure in the foregut of arthropods and several other invertebrates, often lined with chitin and small teeth.
the innards or viscera collectively, especially the intestine and stomach.
Origin of gizzard
1325-75; Middle English giser < Old French giser, gezier (French gésier) < Vulgar Latin *gigerium; compare Latin gigeria, gizeria giblets, perhaps ultimately < Iranian; compare Persian jigar liver Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for gizzard
Historical Examples
  • As soon as they had retired to a safe distance gizzard started to renew the argument, but Sube refused to go on with it.

    Sube Cane Edward Bellamy Partridge
  • Friend or foe, he who touches me shall have a bullet in his gizzard.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
  • Both seemed to be suffering from impacted crops, as the stomach and gizzard in each case were found to be empty.

  • And if that is true of the "gizzard" it is likewise true of the brain.

    On the Firing Line in Education Adoniram Judson Ladd
  • If the polypide has a gizzard it does not bear internal chitinous projections.

  • What for should he put up his fins now the hook's in his gizzard?

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • And dismissing these trivial matters from his mind he paid an unexpected call on his friend gizzard.

    Sube Cane Edward Bellamy Partridge
  • The stomach should not be required to perform the function of the gizzard of a fowl.

  • Some epicures are very fond of the gizzard and rump, peppered and salted, and broiled.

  • "Yer blowin' the gizzard out o' us" Duke: Hi, there, for'ard!

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
British Dictionary definitions for gizzard


the thick-walled part of a bird's stomach, in which hard food is broken up by muscular action and contact with grit and small stones
a similar structure in many invertebrates
(informal) the stomach and entrails generally
Word Origin
C14: from Old North French guisier fowl's liver, alteration of Latin gigēria entrails of poultry when cooked, of uncertain origin
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 gizzard

"stomach of a bird," late 14c., from Old French gisier (Modern French gésier) "entrails, giblets (of a bird)," probably from Vulgar Latin *gicerium, dissimilated from Latin gigeria (neuter plural) "cooked entrails of a fowl," a delicacy in ancient Rome, from PIE *yekwr- "liver" (see hepatitis). Parasitic -d added 1500s. Later extended to other animals, and, jocularly, to human beings.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gizzard in Science
A muscular pouch behind the stomach in birds. It has a thick lining and often contains swallowed sand or grit, which helps in the mechanical breakdown of food.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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