1. A modified muscular pouch behind the stomach in the digestive tract of birds, having a thick lining and often containing ingested grit that aids in the breakdown of seeds and other hard materials by grinding them down before digestion.
2. A similar digestive organ found in certain invertebrates, such as the earthworm.
[Alteration of Middle English giser, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *gicērium, from Latin gigēria, cooked entrails of poultry, probably of Iranian origin; akin to Persian jigar, liver; see ykw in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.