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How to pronounce ferment (audio)


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Dictionary definition of ferment

To undergo a chemical change that results in the production of a new substance through the action of microorganisms such as yeast or bacteria.
"The grapes are left to ferment for several weeks before they become wine."

Detailed meaning of ferment

The process of fermentation usually involves breaking down a complex substance into simpler compounds, often with the release of gas or heat. Fermentation can be used to create a wide range of products, including food and beverages like beer, wine, and cheese, as well as pharmaceuticals such as antibiotics. In order to ferment a substance, it is typically mixed with a culture of microorganisms and kept in a controlled environment for a certain period of time. The specific type of microorganism used and the conditions under which the fermentation occurs will determine the final product that is produced. Fermentation is an important process in many industries and is also a key area of study in microbiology.

Example sentences containing ferment

1. The milk started to ferment after being left out in the sun.
2. You can ferment fruits to make your own homemade wine.
3. To make kombucha, you have to ferment tea with sugar and a SCOBY.
4. After several days, the brewer noticed the beer began to ferment.
5. Wine will ferment until all the sugar is converted into alcohol.
6. If you ferment apples, you'll get cider.

History and etymology of ferment

The verb 'ferment' has its origins in Latin, coming from the word 'fermentare,' which means 'to leaven' or 'to cause to rise.' This Latin term is related to 'fermentum,' referring to yeast or leaven used in the fermentation process. The etymology of 'ferment' encapsulates the concept of a chemical change brought about by the action of microorganisms, such as yeast or bacteria, which causes the production of a new substance, such as alcohol or carbon dioxide. The term highlights the transformative nature of fermentation, where microorganisms play a crucial role in converting one substance into another, often with significant culinary, agricultural, and industrial implications.

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Further usage examples of ferment

1. Yogurt is a result of when bacteria ferment lactose in milk.
2. The baker let the dough ferment to enhance its flavor.
3. In traditional Korean cooking, they ferment cabbage to make kimchi.
4. You can ferment honey and water to make mead, an ancient drink.
5. The process of making sauerkraut requires you to ferment shredded cabbage.
6. Without yeast to ferment the sugars, the dough will not rise.
7. To create sourdough, you ferment a mixture of flour and water.
8. Grapes left to ferment will eventually turn into vinegar.
9. The traditional method to prepare miso is to ferment soybeans with salt and koji.
10. When you ferment grains, you can produce a variety of beverages and foods.
11. They let the malt ferment in the large oak barrels for a deeper taste.
12. To make traditional Japanese sake, rice is first milled and then allowed to ferment.
13. Inside the brewery, the wort begins to ferment in large vats.
14. For a more robust flavor, some cheese-makers ferment their milk longer.



brew, stabilize, preserve, inhibit


Suffix -ment, Convoluted and Cryptic, Persistence and Perseverance, Vitality and Vigor, Biological and Geological Sciences, Materials and Substances

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