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See more synonyms for barm on Thesaurus.com
  1. yeast formed on malt liquors while fermenting.
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Origin of barm

before 1000; Middle English berme, Old English beorma; cognate with Frisian berme, German Bärme, Swedish bärme; akin to ferment
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for barm

droplet, balloon, foam, blob, froth, scum, blister, effervescence, sac, drop, vesicle, spume, bead, lather, barm, yeast, leavening, seethe, simmer, leaven

Examples from the Web for barm

Historical Examples of barm

  • Seek your sa' where you got your ail, and beg your barm where you buy your ale.

    The Proverbs of Scotland

    Alexander Hislop

  • Yeast, or barm, or leaven was used both in baking and in brewing.

  • He took her body on his arm, Her slumbering head lay on his barm.

    Poems by the Way

    William Morris

  • And then you may work it with barm if you please; but it is most commended without.

  • When it is cold, set it together with some barm, as you do Beer.

British Dictionary definitions for barm


  1. the yeasty froth on fermenting malt liquors
  2. an archaic or dialect word for yeast
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Word Origin for barm

Old English bearm; related to beran to bear, Old Norse barmr barm, Gothic barms, Old High German barm see ferment
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

Word Origin and History for barm


Old English beorma "yeast, leaven," also "head of a beer," from Proto-Germanic *bermon- (cf. Dutch berm, Middle Low German barm), from PIE root *bher- (4) "to cook, bake" (cf. Latin fermentum "substance causing fermentation," Sanskrit bhurati "moves convulsively, quivers," Middle Irish berbaim "I boil, seethe;" see brew (v.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper