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hard cider

See under cider.
Origin of hard cider
An Americanism dating back to 1780-90


[sahy-der] /ˈsaɪ dər/
the juice pressed from apples (or formerly from some other fruit) used for drinking, either before fermentation (sweet cider) or after fermentation (hard cider) or for making applejack, vinegar, etc.
Also, British, cyder.
1250-1300; Middle English sidre < Middle French < Old French si(s)dre < Late Latin sīcera strong drink < Septuagint Greek sī́kera < Hebrew shēkhār (Levit. 10:9); replacing Middle English sithere < Old French sidre
Related forms
ciderish, ciderlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for hard cider
Historical Examples
  • The hard cider was kept in the cellar, the sweet cider upstairs.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • "I'm not figurin' on makin' hard cider," said Anderson, with some irritation.

    Anderson Crow, Detective George Barr McCutcheon
  • A mixture of guns and gingerbread; men and music; horses and hard cider.

    Little Grandfather Sophie May
  • Old Smith had some hard cider to which cousin Csar had access.

    Pen Pictures B. F. Craig
  • After which, they adjourned to the public-house and hard cider, sent them to drink for their sins.


    Henry Kingsley
  • I began to understand why our farmers are so poor, and I sent for hard cider.

    The Idyl of Twin Fires Walter Prichard Eaton
  • Wine is fermented grape-juice; hard cider is fermented apple-juice.

  • You say whiskey, but it may have been wine, or beer, or hard cider that he drank.

  • But Ive thought it all over and Ive come to the conclusion that teachin' and studyin''s like hard cider.

    Atlantic Narratives Mary Antin
  • One day, when Will was visiting at Eugene's house, the boys introduced themselves to a barrel of hard cider.

    Last of the Great Scouts Helen Cody Wetmore
British Dictionary definitions for hard cider

hard cider

(US & Canadian) fermented apple juice Compare sweet cider


Also called (US) hard cider. an alcoholic drink made from the fermented juice of apples
(US & Canadian) Also called sweet cider. an unfermented drink made from apple juice
Word Origin
C14: from Old French cisdre, via Medieval Latin, from Late Greek sikera strong drink, from Hebrew shēkhār
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 hard cider



late 13c., from Old French cidre, cire "pear or apple cider" (12c., Modern French cidre), variant of cisdre, from Late Latin sicera, Vulgate rendition of Hebrew shekhar, a word used for any strong drink (translated in Old English as beor, taken untranslated in Septuagint Greek as sikera), related to Arabic sakar "strong drink," sakira "was drunk." Meaning gradually narrowed in English to mean exclusively "fermented drink made from apples," though this sense also was in Old French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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