View synonyms for fermentation


[ fur-men-tey-shuhn ]


  1. the act or process of fermenting.
  2. a change brought about by a ferment, as yeast enzymes, which convert grape sugar into ethyl alcohol.
  3. agitation; excitement.


/ ˌfɜːmɛnˈteɪʃən /


  1. a chemical reaction in which a ferment causes an organic molecule to split into simpler substances, esp the anaerobic conversion of sugar to ethyl alcohol by yeast Also calledferment zymotic
“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


/ fûr′mĕn-tāshən /

  1. The process by which complex organic compounds, such as glucose, are broken down by the action of enzymes into simpler compounds without the use of oxygen. Fermentation results in the production of energy in the form of two ATP molecules, and produces less energy than the aerobic process of cellular respiration . The other end products of fermentation differ depending on the organism. In many bacteria, fungi, protists, and animals cells (notably muscle cells in the body), fermentation produces lactic acid and lactate, carbon dioxide, and water. In yeast and most plant cells, fermentation produces ethyl alcohol, carbon dioxide, and water.


  1. A chemical reaction in which sugars are broken down into smaller molecules that can be used in living systems. Alcoholic beverages, such as beer, wine, and whiskey, are made from the controlled use of fermentation. Fermentation is an anaerobic process.

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Derived Forms

  • ferˈmentative, adjective
  • ferˈmentativeness, noun
  • ferˈmentatively, adverb
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Other Words From

  • nonfer·men·tation noun
  • prefer·men·tation noun
  • self-fermen·tation noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of fermentation1

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English fermentacioun, from Late Latin fermentātiōn-, stem of fermentātiō, from Latin fermentāt(us) “fermented” (past participle of fermentāre “to ferment”; ferment ) + -iō -ion
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Example Sentences

On his popular series for the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen video channel, “It’s Alive,” host Brad Leone walks viewers through the process of making foods that involve fermentation or preservation, such as kimchi, pickled onions and kombucha.

Otherwise, fermentation could proceed too fast, which often leads to loaves without sufficient structure.

Yeast is then added to trigger fermentation, turning the sugars into alcohol.

Creo is turning to an extraction process that uses fermentation.

From Ozy

However, it’s only in the past 50 years that scientists have come to understand fermentation well enough to sustain it at scale.

There is also more nitrogen in his varieties, and this contributes to a quick restart of fermentation after each filtration.

He recently received federal funding to research PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate), a bioplastic made through bacterial fermentation.

Often, the beer undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle, just like Champagne.

Spontaneous fermentation results in a sour quality with vinous notes.

During fermentation after about 15 percent alcohol, yeast starts producing histamines.

It is produced abundantly when vegetable matters are burnt, as also during respiration, fermentation, and many other processes.

Attention to this point is of great moment, and materially affects the fermentation.

I consider you are at present in a transition period; in a state of fermentation; and no one knows what you are capable of doing.

Here the fruit remained until a slight fermentation took place.

Wines during fermentation, if improperly managed, will produce acetic acid, which will greatly deteriorate their quality.





fermentfermentation lock