la·​ger | \ ˈlä-gər How to pronounce lager (audio) \
variants: or lager beer
plural lagers or lager beers

Definition of lager

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a beer (such as a bock or pilsner) that is brewed at cool temperatures by slow fermentation with a slow-acting yeast (especially Saccharomyces pastorianus synonym S. carlsbergensis)

Note: Lagers tend to have a lighter, clearer appearance than ales with a usually lower alcohol content and slightly higher sugar content. The yeast used to ferment lager is often referred to as "bottom-fermenting" since it does not rise to the top of the brewing vessel during fermentation.

Known for being crisper, cleaner and more refreshing than ales, lagers are lighter in body and alcohol while being moderate to high in carbonation.— Kara Newman All true lagers are aged before consumption. Lager in fact comes from the German word meaning to store.— Dave Martin Lager beer had developed in Central Europe and probably was introduced in the United States by Philadelphia brewer John Wagner …— Donna R. Gabaccia


lagered; lagering; lagers

Definition of lager (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to store (beer and especially lager) at cold temperatures during a period of aging often accompanied by a secondary fermentation to improve flavor and clarity The basic American beer is properly described as "lager," which means that the brew has been fermented in the bottom of a tank and then stored—lagered—for two to six weeks in order to smooth and mellow its flavor.— Anthony Dias Blue

Other Words from lager


lagering noun
Minimum lagering times are in excess of 21 days, but the premium beers are matured for two to three months. — Michael Jackson

Examples of lager in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And one super cool part of being here is access to the third release of Eagle Rock Brewery’s popular Local Source beer, a lager infused with three plants native to Southern California — woolly bluecurls, black sage and California bay laurel. Jeanette Marantosstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2022 The Lab Collaborative, a new restaurant in Oceanside, has teamed up with its neighbor South O Brewing Company to create its first Mexican-style lager: The Lab Cerveza. Sara Butler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 May 2022 Listermann Brewing Company has been celebrating Cinco de Mayo all week long with its new Mexican lager, Outnumbered. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 5 May 2022 While Montucky does offer its lager in 12-ounce cans, it’s mostly found in 16-ounce tallboys. The Editors, Outside Online, 14 June 2021 The Kolsch – a hybrid between an ale and lager – is a crispy, summer sipper at 5.2% alcohol. Marc Bona, cleveland, 1 June 2022 In keeping with their mission of bridging the past to the present, the New Magnolia team is releasing their second historical beer, a pale lager named Magnolia Revisited, which will be on tap starting Friday. Chris Barnett, Chron, 10 May 2022 Cheers! Kloster Andechs Brewed by monks at a monastery with roots dating back more than 550 years, this is a clean-tasting lager but really has no discerning flavors. cleveland, 8 May 2022 The following summer it was replaced by Dog Days lager. Josh Noel,, 20 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of lager


1852, in the meaning defined above


1881, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lager


German Lagerbier beer made for storage, from Lager storehouse + Bier beer

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best beverage coolers.

Learn More About lager

Dictionary Entries Near lager




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lager

Last Updated

16 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lager.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on lager

Nglish: Translation of lager for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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