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 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 The pina, or heart, is crushed and steamed to extract its sweet juices, which are fermented and then double-distilled. Eric Velasco, al, "Mayawell bar familiarizes Birmingham with agave spirits," 12 May 2020 From Portugal, the Aphros Phaunus, made of the loureiro grape, was fermented in amphorae. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "The Polarizing Power of Orange Wine," 7 May 2020 Xanthan gum is produced when sugar is fermented by bacteria. Kendra Nordin Beato, The Christian Science Monitor, "No flour? No problem. How to bake with workarounds.," 6 May 2020 The slushee-style Sour Ale is fermented with strong notes of mango and pink guava. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Railroad Brewing 3rd anniversary, Cleveland Whiskey-Avon Brewing party, more - beer calendar," 17 Feb. 2020 In Ethiopia, Solomon says, the honey customarily would be fermented with its comb and with gesho, stalks of the buckthorn bush. Mike Dunne, SFChronicle.com, "For Ethiopian-style honey wine, dock at San Francisco’s Ferry Building," 15 Jan. 2020 The most important ingredient, however, is free: The bread must be fermented with local wild yeasts, which are responsible for the great variations in quality among brands and makers. Saveur, "This Italian Town Always Smells Like Panettone," 16 Dec. 2019 Ribolla Gialla white grapes, prized for winemaking in the region, are macerated and slowly allowed to ferment with their skins for a year. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Meet the ‘Orange Wine’ of Vinegars," 6 Apr. 2020 According to a Senate recollection of the incident, kitchen staffers, unhappy at working until the wee hours of the morning, may have allowed the senator’s eggnog to ferment a little too long on the counter. Washington Post, "Presiding officer: “There is nothing in the rules to prohibit the Senator from requesting a glass of milk.”," 21 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And that effort is spread over three days of patient waiting as the dough slowly ferments and raises. Paul Stephen, ExpressNews.com, "The ambitious dishes San Antonio cooks are tackling in their extra coronavirus-era time at home: macarons, croissants, char siu pork, masterful meatloaf," 13 May 2020 Be sure to check out Bear Claw Vineyard for its beautiful view or Mercier Orchards, the only apple orchard in Georgia that grows, presses, ferments and bottles their own hard apple cider and farm wines. Claire Trageser, Travel + Leisure, "The 50 Best Romantic Getaways," 28 Apr. 2020 Some farmers have anaerobic digesters, which ferment waste to produce methane gas used for energy. Ula Chrobak, Popular Science, "Why farmers are forced to let food rot during the shutdown while others go hungry," 16 Apr. 2020 It's got a distinguished, almost tangy flavor that develops by letting the dough ferment in an overnight rise. Katlyn Moncada, Better Homes & Gardens, "Focaccia Art Is the Prettiest (and Tastiest) Food Trend Taking Over Social Media," 15 Apr. 2020 The bread crafted at Hewn ferments for 20 hours, and for four of those hours it is turned every 30 minutes. Genevieve Bookwalter, chicagotribune.com, "Hewn, baker of bread used at Sweetgreen, is moving to larger space in Evanston to accommodate demand," 18 Nov. 2019 Among those, the lactic acid bacteria, which ferment lactose into lactic acid during yoghurt production, were for Metchnikoff the main bacteria responsible for the above epidemiological observations. Enea Rezzonico, Scientific American, "Nestlé's research on nutrition and the human gut microbiome," 17 Feb. 2015 Uncommon Goods has a five-gallon, odorless indoor composter that uses Bokashi starter to ferment waste in less than half the time of conventional composting methods. oregonlive, "Celebrate the 50th Earth Day with these easy green tips for home and garden," 14 Apr. 2020 That is yeast in the air that allows your bread to ferment, rise and fall. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "When winter market canceled, St. Francis bread baker found hungry customers through social media," 9 Apr. 2020

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

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ferment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ferment. Accessed 31 May. 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) 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

Comments on ferment

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