ferment

verb
fer·​ment | \ (ˌ)fər-ˈment How to pronounce ferment (audio) \
fermented; fermenting; ferments

Definition of ferment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to undergo fermentation The wine ferments in oak barrels.
2 : to be in a state of agitation or intense activity everything ferments in him—his thoughts, sensations, and memories; nothing stays quiet— Janet Flanner

transitive verb

1 : to cause to undergo fermentation Yeast ferments the sugar in the juice.
2 : to work up (as into a state of agitation) : foment

ferment

noun
fer·​ment | \ ˈfər-ˌment How to pronounce ferment (audio) also (ˌ)fər-ˈment How to pronounce ferment (audio) \

Definition of ferment (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a living organism (such as a yeast) that causes fermentation by virtue of its enzymes
b : enzyme
2a : a state of unrest : agitation
b : a process of active often disorderly development the great period of creative ferment in literature— William Barrett

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Other Words from ferment

Verb

fermentable \ (ˌ)fər-​ˈmen-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce ferment (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ferment in a Sentence

Verb The wine ferments in oak barrels. Yeast ferments the sugar in the juice. Noun The city was in a state of ferment after the election. the city was in ferment as its residents nervously awaited the airborne invasion that was sure to come
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Instead, de Garde’s brewers rely on naturally occurring yeast and microflora to spontaneously ferment their sour ales. oregonlive, 3 June 2021 Fruits are added about three-fourths of the way into the aging process, giving sugars three to six months to ferment. Claire Porter, Popular Mechanics, 25 May 2021 Wild beers and some sours utilize unpredictable yeast that takes longer to ferment. Claire Porter, Popular Mechanics, 25 May 2021 Tamo Junto are intervening at the very early stage of this process, and often need to ferment the notion of oneself as an entrepreneur in the first place. Adi Gaskell, Forbes, 19 May 2021 Bacteria ferment a wide array of carbohydrates, like sugar and high fructose corn syrup, to produce acid. Jeffrey Ebersole, The Conversation, 18 May 2021 The maestros allow their dough to ferment anywhere from 12 hours to several days. Francesco Lastrucci, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Feb. 2021 The beer-making operation is already humming, with big tanks to brew the beer and others to ferment it, including some specially made for lagers. BostonGlobe.com, 7 May 2021 The washback wood used to make the drawers still shows the iron banding used in the washback and exhales the aroma of the washback’s decades long use to ferment the wort from which the whisky is made. Joseph V Micallef, Forbes, 16 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In his first interview since taking a top job, Raghavan gets into the future of search, misinformation, employee ferment, and robots making phone calls. Steven Levy, Wired, 19 May 2021 The intellectual ferment of the Enlightenment had fathered the idea that kings and princes should open their private art collections to the public. Roger Lowenstein, WSJ, 30 Apr. 2021 Even though the duo have only known each other a handful of years, their seamless collaboration was the result of years of collaborative ferment within Onyx Collective’s scene. T.m. Brown, Rolling Stone, 22 Apr. 2021 Now Hollywood is in a moment of ferment, driven by a streaming war offering new choices of entertainment and new ways to access it. USA Today, 5 Apr. 2021 After a few short years, researchers from American universities and from pharmaceutical companies developed methods to ferment, extract and purify large batches of clinically useful penicillin. Leonard Lichtblau, Star Tribune, 7 Mar. 2021 The series identifies, for instance, 8chan as the ferment from which emerged the Christchurch, New Zealand mosque shootings in 2019, but then notes that the shooter in that case was likelier radicalized by the algorithms of Facebook and YouTube. Daniel D'addario, chicagotribune.com, 15 Mar. 2021 Navalny, the son of a Red Army officer, grew up in the 1980s in closed military towns outside Moscow, a world away from the intellectual and political ferment that gripped the capital in the last years of the Soviet Union. Anton Troianovski, BostonGlobe.com, 13 Feb. 2021 The artistic ferment in Myanmar today has drawn from other regional protest movements. New York Times, 17 Feb. 2021

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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for ferment

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Latin fermentum yeast — more at barm

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Time Traveler for ferment

Time Traveler

The first known use of ferment was in the 14th century

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Statistics for ferment

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ferment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ferment. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for ferment

ferment

verb

English Language Learners Definition of ferment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to go through a chemical change that results in the production of alcohol

ferment

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ferment (Entry 2 of 2)

: a situation in which there is much excitement and confusion caused by change

ferment

verb
fer·​ment | \ fər-ˈment How to pronounce ferment (audio) \
fermented; fermenting

Kids Definition of ferment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to go through a chemical change that results in the production of alcohol

ferment

noun
fer·​ment | \ ˈfər-ˌment How to pronounce ferment (audio) \

Kids Definition of ferment (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : something (as yeast) that causes fermentation
2 : an excited state Methuselah was in a ferment of eagerness …— Brian Jacques, Redwall
fer·​ment | \ (ˌ)fər-ˈment How to pronounce ferment (audio) \

Medical Definition of ferment

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to undergo fermentation

transitive verb

: to cause to undergo fermentation

Other Words from ferment

fermentable \ -​ə-​bəl How to pronounce ferment (audio) \ adjective

ferment

noun
fer·​ment | \ ˈfər-ˌment also (ˌ)fər-ˈ \

Medical Definition of ferment (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a living organism (as a yeast) that causes fermentation by virtue of its enzymes
b : enzyme

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