Definition of ale in English:

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Pronunciation: /āl/


1North American A type of beer with a bitter flavor and higher alcoholic content: amber-colored beers, ales, and stouts
More example sentences
  • We have bitters, pale ales, ESB, stout, the whole range.
  • The tavern's ale may be bitter and stale, but it is extremely strong.
  • Mead has become the bastard son of wines, often ignored when it comes to the more flashy grape wines and aggressive beers and ales that are out there.
1.1chiefly British Beer.
Example sentences
  • As well as ensuring that the ales are served in first-class condition, beer buffs from the organisation will be on hand to answer questions about the brews and their distinctive qualities.
  • And it coincides with the opening at London Olympia of the Great British Beer Festival, a celebration of ales produced by independent UK breweries.
  • As the Town Hall celebrates the best of British beer there will be an extensive selection of ales from local breweries including a special Festival Beer.


Old English alu, ealu, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse ǫl. Formerly the word referred especially to unhopped or paler-colored varieties of beer.

  • beer from Old English:

    The ancestor of beer came from a Latin term used in monasteries. Classical Latin bibere ‘to drink’, is also behind beverage (Middle English), bibulous (late 17th century), and imbibe (Late Middle English). Although beer appears in Old English, it was not common before the 16th century, the usual word in earlier times being ale, which now refers to a drink made without hops. The late 16th-century proverb ‘Turkey, heresy, hops, and beer came into England all in one year’ reflects the difference. Ale continues to be applied to paler kinds of liquors for which the malt has not been roasted. Some areas still use beer and ale interchangeably. See also bib

Words that rhyme with ale

ail, assail, avail, bail, bale, bewail, brail, Braille, chain mail, countervail, curtail, dale, downscale, drail, dwale, entail, exhale, fail, faille, flail, frail, Gael, Gail, gale, Grail, grisaille, hail, hale, impale, jail, kale, mail, male, webmail, nonpareil, outsail, pail, pale, quail, rail, sail, sale, sangrail, scale, shale, snail, stale, swale, tail, tale, they'll, trail, upscale, vail, vale, veil, surveil, wail, wale, whale, Yale

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Syllabification: ale

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