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[noun fur-ment; verb fer-ment] /noun ˈfɜr mɛnt; verb fərˈmɛnt/
Also called organized ferment. any of a group of living organisms, as yeasts, molds, and certain bacteria, that cause fermentation.
Also called unorganized ferment. an enzyme.
agitation; unrest; excitement; commotion; tumult:
The new painters worked in a creative ferment. The capital lived in a political ferment.
verb (used with object)
to act upon as a ferment.
to cause to undergo fermentation.
to inflame; foment:
to ferment prejudiced crowds to riot.
to cause agitation or excitement in:
Reading fermented his active imagination.
verb (used without object)
to be fermented; undergo fermentation.
to seethe with agitation or excitement.
Origin of ferment
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin fermentum yeast (noun), fermentāre to cause to rise (v.); akin to barm, Latin fervēre to boil
Related forms
fermentable, adjective
fermentability, noun
nonfermentability, noun
nonfermentable, adjective
nonfermented, adjective
nonfermenting, adjective
unfermentable, adjective
unfermented, adjective
unfermenting, adjective
well-fermented, adjective
Can be confused
ferment, foment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fermented
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Such were the vain projects that revolved and fermented through the doctor's agitated brain as he went among his patients.

    The Doctor's Family Mrs. (Margaret) Oliphant
  • The original North American knew no fermented or spirituous drink.

    The Indian Today Charles A. Eastman
  • They smoke tobacco in pipes, and they make a liquor from fermented grain, presumably rice, which is called zu.

    The Pacification of Burma Sir Charles Haukes Todd Crosthwaite
  • This method produces what is known as the "fermented cocoa."

  • Khuaild's weak point was a love of fermented beverages and, as was his wont, he drank a little more than was reasonable.

    The Life of Mohammad Etienne Dinet
British Dictionary definitions for fermented


noun (ˈfɜːmɛnt)
any agent or substance, such as a bacterium, mould, yeast, or enzyme, that causes fermentation
another word for fermentation
commotion; unrest
verb (fəˈmɛnt)
to undergo or cause to undergo fermentation
to stir up or seethe with excitement
Derived Forms
fermentable, adjective
fermentability, noun
fermenter, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin fermentum yeast, from fervēre to seethe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fermented



early 15c., from Middle French ferment, from Latin fermentum (see ferment (v.)). Figurative sense of "anger, passion" is from 1670s.



late 14c., from Old French fermenter (13c.) and directly from Latin fermentare "to leaven, ferment," from fermentum "substance causing fermentation, leaven," from root of fervere "to boil, seethe" (see brew). Figurative use from 1650s. Related: Fermented; fermenting.


early 15c., from Middle French ferment, from Latin fermentum (see ferment (v.)). Figurative sense of "anger, passion" is from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fermented in Medicine

ferment fer·ment (fûr'měnt')

  1. An agent, as a yeast, a bacterium, a mold, or an enzyme, that causes fermentation.

  2. Fermentation.

v. fer·ment·ed, fer·ment·ing, fer·ments (fər-měnt')
To cause or undergo fermentation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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