[ eyl ]
/ eɪl /


a malt beverage, darker, heavier, and more bitter than beer, containing about 6 percent alcohol by volume.
British. beer.

Origin of ale

before 950; Middle English; Old English (e)alu (genitive ealoth); cognate with Old Saxon alo-, Middle Dutch ale, ael, Old Norse ǫl; Lithuanian alùs, OCS olŭ; Finnish, Estonian olut; areal word of North Europe

Can be confused

ale ail awl

Definition for ale (2 of 2)



additional living expense. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ale

British Dictionary definitions for ale


/ (eɪl) /


a beer fermented in an open vessel using yeasts that rise to the top of the brewCompare beer, lager 1
(formerly) an alcoholic drink made by fermenting a cereal, esp barley, but differing from beer by being unflavoured by hops
mainly British another word for beer

Word Origin for ale

Old English alu, ealu; related to Old Norse öl, Old Saxon alofat
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