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See more synonyms for malt on Thesaurus.com
  1. germinated grain, usually barley, used in brewing and distilling.
  2. any alcoholic beverage, as beer, ale, or malt liquor, fermented from malt.
  3. whisky, as Scotch, that is distilled entirely from malted barley.
  4. malted milk(def 2).
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verb (used with object)
  1. to convert (grain) into malt by soaking it in water and allowing it to germinate.
  2. to treat or mix with malt, malt extract, etc.
  3. to make (liquor) with malt.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become malt.
  2. to produce malt from grain.
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Origin of malt

before 900; Middle English; Old English mealt; cognate with Old Norse malt, German Malz; akin to melt1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for malt


  1. cereal grain, such as barley, that is kiln-dried after it has germinated by soaking in water
  2. See malt liquor
  3. short for malt whisky
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  1. to make into or become malt
  2. to make (something, esp liquor) with malt
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Word Origin

Old English mealt; related to Dutch mout, Old Norse malt; see also melt
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 malt


Old English malt (Anglian), mealt (West Saxon), from Proto-Germanic *maltam (cf. Old Norse malt, Old Saxon malt, Middle Dutch, Dutch mout, Old High German malz, German Malz "malt"), from PIE *meld- (cf. melt), extended form of root *mel- "soft," probably via notion of "softening" the grain by steeping it in water before brewing. Finnish mallas, Old Church Slavonic mlato are considered to be borrowed from Germanic.

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mid-15c., "to convert grain to malt," from malt (n.). Meaning + "to make with malt" is from c.1600. Related: Malted; malting. Malt liquor (which is fermented, not brewed) first attested 1690s. Malted "a drink with malted milk" is from 1945.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

malt in Medicine


  1. Mucosal-associated with lymphoid tissue; rare type of lymphoma of the stomach that may be associated with infection by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori.MALT lymphoma
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.