\ ˈāl \

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

Also known as farmhouse ales, this category has a commanding foreman in Red Barn (6.7 percent alcohol by volume). Peter Rowe,, "Is the world still coming to the San Diego International Beer Festival?," 24 May 2018 While Bazooka the bulldog putters around baby strollers on the Idol Beer Works patio, patrons line up in the spacious Lodi taproom for pints of its signature Doublicious IPA, Smutty Fraulein blonde ale and homemade kombucha. Jeanne Cooper, San Francisco Chronicle, "Beer in wine country? Don’t miss new crop of Lodi brewers," 28 Mar. 2018 This Kölsch-style ale from Inglewood’s Three Weav3rs has a golden hue, shortbread-like malts, a dash of lemon, hints of pear and a peppery edge. Peter Rowe,, "In historic first, San Diego's SouthNorte partners with Tijuana brewery," 21 June 2018 One is ale yeast, which at relatively high temperatures ferments extracts made from malted barley and other grains, and is commonly used in baking. Mike Cherney, WSJ, "The Newest Thing in Beer: Ancient Yeast," 20 May 2018 The tab: Two nights at the WorldMark Windsor cost us $412 plus tax; lunch at Kin was $43 plus tip, and two glasses of brown ale and a six-pack to take home was $19 at St. Florian's Brewery. Marc Stirdivant,, "A weekend escape to Windsor — no, not that Windsor," 10 May 2018 Your best beer choice is the classic IPA or an Extra Special Bitter cask ale. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 Our core beers are going to be a Belgian Witbier, a Blonde ale and an IPA. Lauren Delgado,, "Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co. readying for soft opening," 25 June 2018 The name fits a downtown brewery specializing in farmhouse ales, Hoey said. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "‘Bold and flavorful’ brewery and smokehouse to open near Southside Park on Saturday | The Sacramento Bee," 17 May 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near ale





alea jacta est



Statistics for ale

Last Updated

8 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for ale

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

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More Definitions for ale



English Language Learners Definition of ale

: an alcoholic drink that is similar to beer


\ ˈāl \

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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Comments on ale

What made you want to look up ale? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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