\ ˈbir How to pronounce beer (audio) \

Definition of beer

1 : a carbonated, fermented alcoholic beverage that is usually made from malted cereal grain (especially barley), is flavored with hops, and typically contains less than a 5% alcohol content — compare ale, craft beer, lager entry 1, malt liquor sense 2
2 : a carbonated nonalcoholic or a fermented slightly alcoholic beverage with flavoring from roots or other plant parts birch beer
3 : fermented mash
4 : a drink of beer

Examples of beer in a Sentence

Would you like beer with dinner? The pub brews its own beer. I'll have a beer, please. a couple of cold beers a glass of birch beer
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Recent Examples on the Web Police responded shortly after 1 a.m. Feb. 16 to Walgreens regarding a man stealing two six-packs of beer and walking eastbound on Detroit, according to a police event report. Bruce Geiselman, cleveland, "Car stolen at gunpoint: Lakewood Police Blotter," 27 Feb. 2021 Rising and falling in joy and sorrow, often with a can of beer in hand, was challenging physically—especially on cobblestones—but a few bruises on the knees and soreness in long-idle muscles was a small price to pay for a powerful, hopeful ending. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "In ‘Another Round,’ Mads Mikkelsen Shows Another Side," 26 Feb. 2021 Throw rocks into the house while enjoying a bucket of beer or Snowmelt hard seltzer. Brittany Anas, Forbes, "Missing The Olympics? Here’s 4 Spots Where You Can Go For Gold This Winter," 25 Feb. 2021 When the pandemic hit last March, Bauhaus Brew Labs had barrels of beer intended for restaurants and bars that needed to be sold or (gasp!) dumped. Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune, "Crowlers became Minnesota breweries' untapped resource during pandemic," 3 Feb. 2021 Yet the incentive also promoted the growth and sale of beer in a country where alcohol use is the leading risk factor for premature death. Nandita Murukutla, STAT, "Governments’ alcohol subsidies are harmful to public health," 27 Jan. 2021 But if Laverne sells only three cases of beer a year, while Shirley sells thousands, Shirley is the better buy, generating more total profit. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Motley Fool: NextEra is one of the safest ways to invest in wind energy," 24 Jan. 2021 There is a shortage of beer in small mountain towns (the revolutionaries proscribe alcohol), and Kincaid notices red stars and writing on the walls of schools and bridges. Akash Kapur, The New Yorker, "Can We See Past the Myth of the Himalaya?," 18 Jan. 2021 Painted for the open market, the appeal of the genre paintings was their freer brush strokes and joyful immediacy, like the two boys in the Leerdam work, one staring into a jug of beer. New York Times, "The Mystery of the Painting Thieves Love," 18 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beer.' 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 beer

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

History and Etymology for beer

Middle English ber, going back to Old English bēor, akin to Old High German bior "beer," Old Norse bjórr; perhaps all going back to a dissimilated form of Germanic *breura-, a nominal derivative of *brewwan- "to brew entry 1"

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Time Traveler for beer

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for beer

Last Updated

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for beer



English Language Learners Definition of beer

: an alcoholic drink made from malt and flavored with hops
: a drink made from roots or other parts of plants


\ ˈbir How to pronounce beer (audio) \

Kids Definition of beer

: an alcoholic drink made from malt and flavored with hops

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