Definitions

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

  • n. Cartilage, especially when present in meat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Cartilage; now especially: cartilage present, as a tough substance, in meat.
  • n. Bone not yet hardened by age and hard work.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Cartilage. See cartilage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The popular name of cartilage. See cartilage.
  • n. Hence Something young and unformed.

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

  • n. tough elastic tissue; mostly converted to bone in adults

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English gristel, grystyl, from Old English gristel, gristle ("gristle, cartilage"), formed from a diminutive of Old English grist ("a grinding"), from Proto-Germanic *gredanan (“to crunch”), equivalent to grist +‎ -le. Cognate with Old Frisian gristel, gerstel ("gristle, cartilage"), Middle Low German gristel ("gristle"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Also, am I alone in the fact that whenever I hear the term gristle, I think of the best line from The Great Outdoors, “THERE’S NOTHIN’ ON THAT PLATE BUT GRISTLE AND FAT!”

    Guy Ritchie Compares Madonna To A Piece Of Gristle | Best Week Ever

  • A gristle is a substance softer than bone, and harder than the rest, flexible, and serves to maintain the parts of motion.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • Its muscular body has only a long piece of tough, bending tissue called gristle, which acts as a spine.

    Your Challenge for the Day

  • And some make a paste for the winter months, at which time the Chub is accounted best, for then it is observed, that the forked bones are lost, or turned into a kind of gristle, especially if he be baked, of cheese and turpentine.

    The Compleat Angler : or, The Contemplative Man`s Recreation

  • Armed with the kind of gristle only acquired through years of experience, Obits is the sound of Brooklyn sharpening its teeth once again, just in time for that long overdue bite in the arse those condo-dwelling hipsters - the ones who wouldn't know Hot Snakes from The Blues Magoos - mucking up the old neighborhoods are in dire need of.

    JamBase

  • I could feel it, and it was almost like he was cutting through gristle on a steak, Stankavich said in an interview.

    Lack of training can be deadly in cosmetic surgery

  • But times have changed, content standards have loosened, and cable is able to target a niche crowd that likes a little gristle in their TV diet.

    Is TV Too Gory?

  • My first tastes of venison were much like Douglas 'mom, from deer that were killed on dog drives, gut shot, hauled around in pickups then, to paraphrase Tom Kelly, haggled into unidentifiable hunks of bloody gristle by a succession of drunks with rusty saws and hatchets.

    Beef or Venison: Which Tastes Better?

  • It is almost paper-thin, has no fat or gristle, and dries quickly by whatever method is most convenient for you.

    Oh, Cecina!

  • We've had machaca everyway from melt in your mouth supurb to break your teeth gristle and I'm thinking diy might be the way to go.

    Oh, Cecina!

Comments

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  • Blecch.

    March 28, 2008

  • I'd rather not find it in my food. (For context see this list).

    March 28, 2008

  • What's the problem with gristle, mollusque?

    March 28, 2008

  • "Chap in the Burton today spitting back gumchewed gristle."
    Joyce, Ulysses, 13

    January 14, 2007