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

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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 in one of the more inspired creations, last summer, Back Forty Beer Company in Gadsden unveiled a seasonal lager made with stone-ground corn from McEwen & Son’s. Bob Carlton |, al, "The story behind these glorious Alabama grits," 24 Feb. 2021 My favorite beer with roasted vegetables is a Vienna lager. Michael Agnew And Bill Ward, Star Tribune, "Beer or wine? Whatever your pleasure, there's a perfect accompaniment for your pizza," 17 Feb. 2021 The three most popular beers are Aluminum Cowboy, a light lager; Miracle Wheat, a blood-orange wheat beer; and Northeast Texas, an American IPA. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Dallas-area brewery offers $1 beers to GameStop employees," 29 Jan. 2021 Doppelbock is a rich, darker lager brewed for December and has hints of dark chocolate and roasted coffee. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Christmas Ale guide: 60+ Greater Cleveland breweries offering seasonal, spicy brews," 10 Nov. 2020 Gislason brews only lager, and a six-pack costs $90. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "One artist drew Anchor's beer labels for 45 years. Here's what the 93-year-old thinks of the controversial redesign," 28 Jan. 2021 The porter, Liberty Ale and California lager labels have never changed since they were introduced in 1972, 1975 and 2012 respectively, and the steam label has remained mostly unchanged since longtime owner Fritz Maytag revived the brewery in 1965. Esther Mobley,, "On eve of 125th birthday, S.F.'s Anchor Brewing is changing its vintage beer labels," 25 Jan. 2021 The plan is to brew Yuengling lager first, although other Yuengling beers could be brewed and distributed in Texas eventually. Sarah Blaskovich, Dallas News, "Confirmed: Yuengling will start selling beer in Texas stores and bars in fall 2021," 14 Jan. 2021 The dry-hopped lager, at 5.2% alcohol and 35 International Bittering Units, is called Lights On Lager. Marc Bona, cleveland, "Hop farmer, breweries launch beer to support struggling live-music venues," 5 Jan. 2021

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.

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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

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Statistics for lager

Last Updated

28 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Lager.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for lager



English Language Learners Definition of lager

: a type of beer that is light in color and is aged at cool temperatures

More from Merriam-Webster on lager

Nglish: Translation of lager for Spanish Speakers

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