[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. off-white,
  2. off-year,
  3. off-year election,
  4. off.,
  5. offa,
  6. offaly,
  7. offbeat,
  8. offboard,
  9. offcast,
  10. offcut

Origin of offal

1350–1400; Middle English, equivalent to of off + fal fall; compare Dutch afval

Can be confusedawful awesome offal (see usage note at awful) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for offal

British Dictionary definitions for offal


/ (ˈɒfəl) /


the edible internal parts of an animal, such as the heart, liver, and tongue
dead or decomposing organic matter
refuse; rubbish

Word Origin for offal

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

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