fermentation

noun
fer·men·ta·tion | \ˌfər-mən-ˈtā-shən, -ˌmen-\

Definition of fermentation 

1a : a chemical change with effervescence

b : an enzymatically controlled anaerobic breakdown of an energy-rich compound (such as a carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and alcohol or to an organic acid) broadly : an enzymatically controlled transformation of an organic compound

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of fermentation in a Sentence

a wave of immigration followed by a period of social fermentation

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s banh mi and matcha lattes, great Neapolitan pizza, fermentation labs, fine dining tasting menus, and some of Europe’s best cocktails. Kat Odell, Vogue, "Where to Find the Fruits of Prague’s Food Revolution," 7 July 2018 For you science types, no sugars would mean no fermentation, no resulting ethanol and no vodka. Sergio De La Pava, WSJ, "Can You Taste a City in a Bottle of Vodka?," 14 June 2018 For decades, stateside brewers have increasingly dabbled in sour beer and wild fermentation, tinkering with non-traditional yeasts, bacteria and rule-breaking media. Keith Flanagan, USA TODAY, "The latest beers are inspired by booze," 12 June 2018 Each building at the Clayton plant will house a different stage of drug production: fermentation, recovery, and purification. Max Blau, STAT, "In the ‘diabetes belt,’ a small town grapples with growth of the world’s largest insulin maker," 15 May 2018 This extra step extends fermentation time and allows you to achieve a light, flavorful loaf with less yeast. Amy Dewall Dadmun, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Revolving door' of summer visitors calls for special food," 19 May 2018 In January, the event's theme is about fermentation, and February's is about Balto the dog. cleveland.com, "33 indoor events in Cleveland for people who hate cold weather," 10 Jan. 2018 The flavor comes from vinasse, a viscous distillation residue that's mixed with fresh molasses in a 10-day fermentation process. Kate Krader, chicagotribune.com, "These Caribbean rum distilleries are worth a vacation in themselves," 14 May 2018 The fermentation process that gives the bread its distinctive sour taste also makes it more gut-friendly. Keri Wiginton, Bon Appetit, "Why Some Gluten-Sensitive People Can Still Eat Sourdough Bread," 16 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of fermentation

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fermentation

Share fermentation

Statistics for fermentation

Last Updated

27 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fermentation

The first known use of fermentation was in 1601

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fermentation

fermentation

noun
fer·men·ta·tion | \ˌfər-mən-ˈtā-shən \

Kids Definition of fermentation

: a chemical breaking down of a substance (as sugar) that is controlled by an enzyme, usually does not require oxygen, and typically results in the production of alcohol and carbon dioxide

fermentation

noun
fer·men·ta·tion | \ˌfər-mən-ˈtā-shən, -ˌmen- \

Medical Definition of fermentation 

1 : a chemical change with effervescence

2 : an enzymatically controlled anaerobic breakdown of an energy-rich compound (as a carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and alcohol or to an organic acid) broadly : an enzymatically controlled transformation of an organic compound

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fermentation

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!