Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Food wastes, as from a kitchen.
  • noun Refuse; trash.
  • noun A place or receptacle where rubbish is discarded.
  • noun Worthless or nonsensical matter; rubbish.
  • noun Inferior or offensive literary or artistic material.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To eviscerate; disembowel; gut; clean by removing the entrails of.
  • noun Originally, the entrails of fowls, and afterward of any animal; now, offal or refuse organic matter in general; especially, the refuse animal and vegetable matter from a kitchen.
  • noun Hence Any worthless, offensive matter.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To strip of the bowels; to clean.
  • noun Offal, as the bowels of an animal or fish; refuse animal or vegetable matter from a kitchen; hence, anything worthless, disgusting, or loathsome.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Useless or disposable material; waste material of any kind.
  • noun Nonsense; gibberish.
  • noun Something or someone worthless.
  • noun computing Data that cannot or will not be accessed by a program, but are still taking up space.
  • noun computing Data that make no sense to the program trying to use them.
  • verb transitive, obsolete To eviscerate.

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

  • noun a worthless message
  • noun food that is discarded (as from a kitchen)
  • noun a receptacle where waste can be discarded

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, offal from fowls.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English "the offal of a fowl, giblets, kitchen waste", originally "refuse, what is purged away" from Old French garber "to refine, make neat or clean", of Germanic origin, akin to Old High German garawan "to prepare, make ready", Old English ġearwian ("to make ready, adorn"). More at garb, yare, gear

Examples

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  • Usage/historical note in comment on umble pie.

    January 8, 2017