Definition of ferment in English:


Line breaks: fer|ment


Pronunciation: /fəˈmɛnt
  • 1 [no object] (Of a substance) undergo fermentation: the drink had fermented, turning some of the juice into alcohol
    More example sentences
    • Without lactase, milk and other lactose-rich foods ferment in the intestine, releasing excessive gas.
    • Next, the juice is placed in stainless steel tanks or oak barrels where the wine will ferment following the addition of yeast.
    • When milk ferments, naturally or aided by chemicals in the dairy, the milk changes into a solid fraction and a watery fraction (whey).
    undergo fermentation, brew; effervesce, fizz, foam, froth, bubble, seethe, boil; rise
  • 1.1 [with object] Cause the fermentation of (a substance).
    More example sentences
    • People in ancient China, India and the Mediterranean region employed biochemistry for making bread with yeast, fermenting beer and wine, and treating diseases with plant and animal extracts.
    • The starch stored in natural plant sugars is harvested and then the sugar is fermented into lactic acid.
    • In this case, the beer is fully fermented, then filtered to remove the yeast, then carbonated and stored in a tightly sealed keg, ready for immediate drinking.
    brew; subject to fermentation, cause to ferment, cause to effervesce


Pronunciation: /ˈfəːmɛnt
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  • 2 archaic A fermenting agent or enzyme.
    More example sentences
    • They have a slightly gamy flavour, due to the enzymes or ferments from the gut.
    • In my opinion, the albuminous materials were never the ferments, but the nutrients of the ferment.
    • The recent literature on ferments seemed to indicate that enzymes were a more likely candidate.



Pronunciation: /-ˈmɛntəb(ə)l/
More example sentences
  • In France, for example, winemakers for centuries have used a process known as chaptalization, which is the addition of fermentable materials - including cane sugar!
  • Corn is the most readily apparent upon tasting - it is used by brewers to add fermentable sugar cheaply, since corn is significantly less expensive and requires less processing than barley.
  • But vodka can be made from anything that has fermentable sugars - and grapes are among the popular alternatives.


late Middle English: from Old French ferment (noun), fermenter (verb), based on Latin fermentum 'yeast', from fervere 'to boil'.

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