fermentation

noun
fer·​men·​ta·​tion | \ ˌfər-mən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce fermentation (audio) , -ˌmen- \
plural fermentations

Definition of fermentation

1a : the enzyme-catalyzed anaerobic breakdown of an energy-rich compound (such as a carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and alcohol or to an organic acid) by the action of microorganisms (such as bacteria or yeast) that occurs naturally and is commonly used in the production of various products (such as food, alcoholic beverages, and pharmaceuticals) especially by controlling microbial enzymatic activity The wine then undergoes a long fermentation that results in a high alcohol content (15 to 17 percent) and a dry wine.— Kim Marcus The panda is quite unlike most other herbivores, however, whose digestive tracts contain bacteria and protozoans that break down hard-to-digest plant materials through fermentation.— Miriam Levine Helbok During a starter's fermentation, yeast produces alcohol, carbon dioxide, and sulfur compounds, all of which contribute to good bread's unique flavor.— J. Kenji Alt Cultured butter is made from cream in which fermentation—the conversion of milk sugars into lactic acid—has begun to take place.— Ben Mims broadly : any of various enzyme-catalyzed aerobic or anaerobic processes (such as oxidation) involving transformation of organic compounds Most of the catechins are oxidized during the natural fermentation process that converts fresh green tea leaves to black tea. Food & Fitness Advisor Tobacco fermentation is basically highly controlled composting, and releases many chemicals and impurities that would otherwise ruin the tobacco's flavor. — Tad Gage
b : an instance or occurrence of fermentation The process is simplicity itself—a couple of fermentations, a gradual tilting of the bottle to remove the sediment and a final addition of sugar to make it brut or doux.— Miles Kington The ancient Chinese also stored vegetables in a pickling brine with a vinegar base. Various vinegars, made from fermentations of rice, wheat, grapes, or even peaches, were used.— Nina Simonds
2 : ferment sense 2 Music concerts, poetry readings, and other progressive campus activities can produce intellectual fermentation and thought provoking ideas.— Robert Hoffman

Examples of fermentation in a Sentence

a wave of immigration followed by a period of social fermentation
Recent Examples on the Web Blisters on the crust mean more fermentation and a stronger flavor. Sylvie Bigar, Forbes, 23 May 2022 But how exactly does fermentation benefit your skin? Noemie Gokhool, Allure, 19 May 2022 The same goes during harvest in early fall, when there's lots of activity at all the wineries and fermentation aromas waft across the valley. Kathryn Romeyn, Travel + Leisure, 8 May 2022 The restaurant focuses on a rotating single ingredient as the foundation for the menu, and guests should look out for complex fermentation and preservation processes that allow for unique flavors. Devorah Lev-tov, Robb Report, 3 May 2022 Exactly 18 minutes, because after 18 minutes fermentation and rising begin in matzo. Dana Mcmahan, The Courier-Journal, 12 Apr. 2022 There are also fermentation classes, kombucha-making, and essential oil workshops. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Travel + Leisure, 7 May 2022 Overnight fermentation lends a delicious tang to this Sudanese flatbread, balancing the mild, earthy flavor of sorghum flour with a tart bite. Jen Rose Smith, CNN, 4 May 2022 Finally, the residue from shard #744 contained plant oils, animal fats, byproducts that may have come from fermentation (to make wine or beer), and sulfur. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 3 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of fermentation

1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for fermentation

Time Traveler

The first known use of fermentation was in 1601

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Dictionary Entries Near fermentation

fermentate

fermentation

fermentation tube

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Statistics for fermentation

Last Updated

26 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fermentation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fermentation. Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for fermentation

fermentation

noun
fer·​men·​ta·​tion | \ ˌfər-mən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce fermentation (audio) \

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- How to pronounce fermentation (audio) \

Medical Definition of fermentation

: the enzyme-catalyzed anaerobic breakdown of an energy-rich compound (as a carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and alcohol or to an organic acid) by the action of microorganisms (as bacteria or yeast) that occurs naturally and is commonly used in the production of various products (as food, alcoholic beverages, and pharmaceuticals) especially by controlling microbial enzymatic activity … Pasteur proved that microorganisms cause fermentation, the process that turns grape juice into wine.— Ken Reese, Today's Chemist broadly : any of various enzyme-catalyzed aerobic or anaerobic processes (such as oxidation) involving transformation of organic compounds Most of the catechins are oxidized during the natural fermentation process that converts fresh green tea leaves to black tea. Food & Fitness Advisor

More from Merriam-Webster on fermentation

Nglish: Translation of fermentation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fermentation for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fermentation

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