Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A modified muscular pouch behind the stomach in the alimentary canal of birds, having a thick lining and often containing ingested grit that aids in the breakdown of seeds before digestion.
  • n. A similar digestive organ found in certain invertebrates, such as the earthworm.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A portion of the esophagus of either a bird or an annelid that contains ingested grit and is used to grind up ingested food before it is transferred to the stomach.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The second, or true, muscular stomach of birds, in which the food is crushed and ground, after being softened in the glandular stomach (crop), or lower part of the esophagus; the gigerium.
  • n.
  • n. A thick muscular stomach found in many invertebrate animals.
  • n. A stomach armed with chitinous or shelly plates or teeth, as in certain insects and mollusks.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The second stomach of a bird, not counting the crop or craw as the first; the bulbous or muscular stomach (ventriculus bulbosus), succeeding the proventriculus and succeeded by the duodenum; the gigerium.
  • n. The proventriculus or first true stomach of insects, generally armed inside with horny teeth. See cut under Blattidæ.—
  • n. The stomach of some mollusks, as Bullidæ, when muscular and hardened.—
  • n. Figuratively, temper: now only in the phrase to fret one's gizzard.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. thick-walled muscular pouch below the crop in many birds and reptiles for grinding food

Etymologies

Alteration of Middle English giser, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *gicērium, from Latin gigēria, cooked entrails of poultry, probably from Persian jigar, liver.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old French gesier, giser et al. (French gésier), from Latin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • earlier gysard, alteration of gysar, from Middle English giser, gyser, from Old North French guisier liver (especially of a fowl), gizzard, modification of Latin gigeria (neuter plural) cooked entrails of poultry, perhaps of Iranian origin; akin to Persian jigar liver

    August 30, 2009