verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to make a fermented alcoholic malt beverage, as beer or ale.
to boil, steep, soak, or cook: Wait until the tea brews.



    be brewing, to be forming or gathering; be in preparation: Trouble was brewing.

Origin of brew

before 900; Middle English brewen, Old English brēowan; akin to Dutch brouwen, German brauen, Old Norse brugga
Related formsbrew·er, nounmis·brew, verb (used with object)re·brew, verbun·brewed, adjectiveun·der·brew, verb (used with object)well-brewed, adjective
Can be confusedbrewed broodbrews bruise

Synonyms for brew

4. concoct, scheme, plot, devise, hatch, cook up. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for brew

Contemporary Examples of brew

Historical Examples of brew

  • Why, marry, I can brew a bowl of punch, and I can broil a devilled fowl.

    Micah Clarke

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • He must brew, bake, salt and preserve his food, and pile wood and coal.

    Essays, First Series

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • "Ask again at the cottage at the top of the brew," he shouted.

  • Among the brasseries in Paris this the most desirable to lovers of the Bohemian brew.


    James Huneker

  • This brew was good for fevers; and whisky was good for everything else.

British Dictionary definitions for brew




to make (beer, ale, etc) from malt and other ingredients by steeping, boiling, and fermentation
to prepare (a drink, such as tea) by boiling or infusing
(tr) to devise or planto brew a plot
(intr) to be in the process of being brewedthe tea was brewing in the pot
(intr) to be impending or formingthere's a storm brewing


a beverage produced by brewing, esp tea or beera strong brew
an instance or time of brewinglast year's brew
a mixturean eclectic brew of mysticism and political discontent
See also brew up
Derived Formsbrewer, noun

Word Origin for brew

Old English brēowan; related to Old Norse brugga, Old Saxon breuwan, Old High German briuwan




Northern English dialect a hill
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 brew

Old English breowan "to brew" (class II strong verb, past tense breaw, past participle browen), from Proto-Germanic *breuwan "to brew" (cf. Old Norse brugga, Old Frisian briuwa, Middle Dutch brouwen, Old High German briuwan, German brauen "to brew"), from PIE root *bhreue- "to bubble, boil, effervesce" (cf. Sanskrit bhurnih "violent, passionate," Greek phrear "well, spring, cistern," Latin fervere "to boil, foam," Thracian Greek brytos "fermented liquor made from barley," Russian bruja "current," Old Irish bruth "heat;" Old English beorma "yeast;" Old High German brato "roast meat"), the original sense thus being "make a drink by boiling." Related: Brewed; brewing.


c.1500, "a brewed beverage," from brew (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper