Definition of wort in English:

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Pronunciation: /wəːt/


1 [in combination] Used in names of plants and herbs, especially those used formerly as food or medicinally, e.g. butterwort, lungwort, woundwort.
1.1 archaic A plant or herb used as food or medicinally.
Example sentences
  • St. John's wort is an herb that some people use to treat depression.
  • St John's wort is an ancient herb, and was known to the Greeks and Romans as an astringent to be rubbed on wounds.
  • As many might know, one of the worts' herbal properties is as a calmative.
2 [mass noun] The sweet infusion of ground malt or other grain before fermentation, used to produce beer and distilled malt liquors: yeast is added to the wort
More example sentences
  • Purified water is first used to cool the boiled wort (the beer after boiling but before fermenting), becoming heated in the process.
  • Waste heat recovered from the boiling kettle and from wort (unfermented beer) as it's cooled down is used to heat water for brewing and for cleaning the tanks.
  • Instead, we recover heat from the boiling kettle and from wort [unfermented beer] as it's cooled down from boiling temperatures to fermentation temperatures.


Old English wyrt, of Germanic origin; related to root1.

  • root from Old English:

    This is an Old English word related to Latin radix ( see radical) and wort, which is used in the names of plants such as St John's wort. Root and branch, used to emphasize how thoroughly something is dealt with, goes back to the biblical book of Malachi: ‘The day cometh that shall burn them up…that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.’ See also money. Root used of an animal turning up the ground with its snout in search of food is a completely different word, that may ultimately be linked to Latin rodere ‘gnaw’ ( see rodent). Someone backing a candidate for a post may be said to be rooting for them—perhaps with the idea of trying to dig up further support through their efforts.

Words that rhyme with wort

advert, alert, animadvert, assert, avert, Bert, blurt, Burt, cert, chert, concert, controvert, convert, curt, desert, dessert, dirt, divert, exert, flirt, girt, hurt, inert, insert, introvert, Kurt, malapert, overt, pert, quirt, shirt, skirt, spirt, spurt, squirt, Sturt, subvert, vert, yurt

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: wort

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