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


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lagered; lagering; lagers

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
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
Among them were lagers, lambic beers, tripels, blonde ales, non-alcoholic beers and fruit beers. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Mar. 2024 Notch offers those tasty German lagers, plus something unique but increasingly popular: low- and no-alcohol beers like the tropical flavor-forward, non-alcoholic hazy IPA. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 28 Mar. 2024 Add the achiote seasoning, mix well until the mixture starts turning a light orange color, then splash in the Mexican lager. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 9 Mar. 2024 Try the Jazzman dark lager or Willie Bobo blonde ale. Patrick Neas, Kansas City Star, 26 Jan. 2024 But today, most bars have multiple IPAs and lagers — but often not much beyond that. Jay R. Brooks, The Mercury News, 3 Jan. 2024 The black-pepper frog legs are the preferred crunchy escort for an icy bottle of Angkor lager. Jenn Harris, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2024 After dark, rock groups and rappers perform on the street, liter-bottles of lager circulate and attendees sometimes pelt images of (allegedly) corrupt politicians with red paint. Laurence Blair, New York Times, 7 Mar. 2024 Rieth's original lagers were brewed in the German tradition. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 20 Feb. 2024
Can lager and horses heal a nation? Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 2 Feb. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lager.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


1852, in the meaning defined above


1881, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lager was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near lager

Cite this Entry

“Lager.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

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