\ ˈāl How to pronounce ale (audio) \

Definition of ale

1 : an alcoholic beverage brewed especially by rapid fermentation from an infusion of malt with the addition of hops
2 : an English country festival at which ale is the principal beverage

Examples of ale in a Sentence

The bar serves two very different ales.
Recent Examples on the Web And this kit was designed alongside the ale's maker: Stillwater Artisanal Ales. NBC News, "Best Valentine's Day gifts for him (or them) 2020," 30 Jan. 2020 The remaining two are dedicated to American styles — an IPA and the Ramona Red ale — that are popular for those who prefer the hoppier, more-bitter approach. oregonlive, "These are Portland’s 20 best breweries for 2020," 21 Jan. 2020 Orange Blossom is the brewing company's most sold beer and the ale's soft vanilla and orange notes have since become a classic Arizona taste. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Everything you need to know about Papago Orange Blossom, one of Arizona's favorite beers," 21 Nov. 2019 Instead, the emphasis is on the region, with a local brewer using local ingredients (rice for the ale comes from Crowley, honey for the lager is from Breaux Bridge) and the marketing cachet of the school’s unique nickname, the Ragin’ Cajuns. New York Times, "Beer, Here: Merchandising of College Sports Leads to Team-Branded Ales," 1 Nov. 2019 Take in the views of colorful murals and eclectic decor while sipping on Ratio’s French saison (Dear You) or the chocolate rye Scotch ale (Hold Steady). The Know Staff, The Know, "The coolest patios and rooftops to eat and drink on in the Front Range," 27 June 2019 Local stalwarts Taft’s Ale House and Fifty West will be bringing a Rum barrel-aged, Belgian quad and a Wild farmhouse ale, respectively. Paul Daugherty,, "Doc's Morning Line: That was a terrific World Series and I'm sick of the Bengals right now," 31 Oct. 2019 The festival will feature autumn-themed ales and cider from breweries and cideries Bauman’s, Culmination, Gateway, Gigantic, Level, Migration, Montavilla and Von Ebert. Andre Meunier, oregonlive, "Oregon beer this week: Popularity forces Bent Shovel to seek new rural Clackamas County taproom; plus news and events," 25 Oct. 2019 The small-batch company plans to open in September and will focus on local, seasonal and farmhouse ales. Patrick Connolly,, "International Beer Day: Orlando’s craft beer scene has never been hotter," 24 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ale.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ale

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ale

Middle English, from Old English ealu; akin to Old Norse ǫl ale, Lithuanian alus

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Time Traveler for ale

Time Traveler

The first known use of ale was before the 12th century

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Statistics for ale

Last Updated

10 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ale


How to pronounce ale (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ale

: an alcoholic drink that is similar to beer


\ ˈāl How to pronounce ale (audio) \

Kids Definition of ale

: an alcoholic drink made from malt and flavored with hops that is usually more bitter than beer

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More from Merriam-Webster on ale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ale

Spanish Central: Translation of ale

Nglish: Translation of ale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ale for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ale

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