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 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 fermentable (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 Producers of serious Cava or Prosecco or even sparkling wine from Sonoma, Calif., have adopted the Champagne production technique, wherein the wine is twice fermented in bottle and aged on its lees for years. Lettie Teague, WSJ, "What Makes a Wine a Classic?," 30 Jan. 2020 Take care when eating the mini sausages at Aquavit, which are fermented for twenty-four hours, then cold-smoked, baked, seared to order, and served with a slightly fruity whole-grain mustard. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "Swedish Home Cooking at Aquavit," 17 Jan. 2020 Trend-setting restaurants from New York to Singapore are serving natural vintages, fermented in earthenware vessels called qvevri. Alena Hadley, National Geographic, "Taste What's Cooking Across the Globe: 10 Edible Trips," 8 Apr. 2019 Berg says that because they're fermented, fish and soy sauces can be kept at room temp and will be safe to eat for up to a year after opening. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "Here's How You Should Actually Store Condiments," 9 Oct. 2018 Lower alcohol draft meads can ferment in two to four weeks and are meant to be served fresh, similar to a beer. Rebecca Hennes, Houston Chronicle, "Beekeeping couple launches new Tomball hotspot where honey can give you a buzz," 16 Jan. 2020 Lager yeast can also withstand much colder temperatures than ale yeast, meaning the beer can be cold fermented, creating a crisper, clearer beer. Tirion Morris, azcentral, "Here's everything you need to know about lagers — and why metro Phoenix brewers love them," 11 Nov. 2019 Hard seltzer, with its fermented organic cassava root extract, is verging on becoming a functional beverage, trying to convey itself as a net gain. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Hard seltzer is this summer’s biggest scam," 20 Aug. 2019 Donegal—that green archaism— and Manhattan in the nineteen-thirties, polyglot dynamo, all that was great about the twentieth century fermenting in its democratic casks. Campbell Mcgrath, The New Yorker, "The Ladder," 13 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Instead of water, the flour for these breads is mixed with yogurt, then left outside for a whole day to ferment. New York Times, "Savoring the Taste of Memories in Northern India," 29 Oct. 2019 Fermentation has never been easier with this kit, which also features a bonus oxygen extractor to use during the later stages of ferment. Popular Science, "Fermentation kits to dazzle your taste buds," 30 Oct. 2019 That led to a period of populist ferment hostile to fat cats, including mass strikes and ultimately the New Deal of the 1930s. The Economist, "The Kochtopus’s garden," 29 Aug. 2019 Gerwig’s adaptation lays out a challenging interweave of adult Jo’s development as a writer, set in counterpoint to her exhilarating blur of a life several years earlier — full of love, longing, tragedy and artistic ferment. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Little Women’ review: 4 stars for Greta Gerwig’s terrific version of the classic," 26 Nov. 2019 Michael entered Brandeis University and became part of the restless civil rights ferment of the 1960s but was expelled for staging a mock crucifixion outside the dean’s office. Anne M. Hamilton, courant.com, "Extraordinary Life: Michael Koskoff made a career of fighting for social justice and equality," 6 Oct. 2019 Members learn about winemaking, then crush, punch, ferment and bottle. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "North Coast Wine Club opens tasting room in Solon," 19 July 2019 Fore has prepped nothing the day before, including the appam batter, which needs time to ferment. Khushbu Shah, Bon Appétit, "Samantha Fore’s Roving Pop-Up Is Hooking Americans on Sri Lankan Food," 7 Nov. 2019 If the brewery force carbonated it by adding carbon dioxide like most packaged or tap beers, the likelihood of cans exploding because of the extra sugar content continuing to ferment was high. Jess Fleming, Twin Cities, "First Foeder-fermented beer from BlackStack is a winner," 5 Nov. 2019

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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ferment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fermenting. Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for ferment

ferment

verb
How to pronounce ferment (audio)

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
How to pronounce ferment (audio)

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 fermentable (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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More from Merriam-Webster on ferment

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ferment

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ferment

Spanish Central: Translation of ferment

Nglish: Translation of ferment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ferment for Arabic Speakers

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