[noun fur-ment; verb fer-ment]
  1. Also called organized ferment. any of a group of living organisms, as yeasts, molds, and certain bacteria, that cause fermentation.
  2. Also called unorganized ferment. an enzyme.
  3. fermentation.
  4. agitation; unrest; excitement; commotion; tumult: The new painters worked in a creative ferment. The capital lived in a political ferment.
verb (used with object)
  1. to act upon as a ferment.
  2. to cause to undergo fermentation.
  3. to inflame; foment: to ferment prejudiced crowds to riot.
  4. to cause agitation or excitement in: Reading fermented his active imagination.
verb (used without object)
  1. to be fermented; undergo fermentation.
  2. to seethe with agitation or excitement.

Origin of ferment

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin fermentum yeast (noun), fermentāre to cause to rise (v.); akin to barm, Latin fervēre to boil
Related formsfer·ment·a·ble, adjectivefer·ment·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·fer·ment·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·fer·ment·a·ble, adjectivenon·fer·ment·ed, adjectivenon·fer·ment·ing, adjectiveun·fer·ment·a·ble, adjectiveun·fer·ment·ed, adjectiveun·fer·ment·ing, adjectivewell-fer·ment·ed, adjective
Can be confusedferment foment
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for unfermented

Historical Examples of unfermented

  • The unfermented wine of another spring day came to his eager nostrils.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • The juice of the maguey, in its unfermented state, is called honey-water.

    Mexico and its Religion

    Robert A. Wilson

  • Wine there was, rich and unfermented; but the curse of alcohol existed not.

    Darkness and Dawn

    George Allan England

  • "Must" is unfermented wine, which His Excellency the Count much appreciated.

  • It is unfermented and sun-dried, but has not at all a bad flavour and is sometimes used by European pipe smokers.

    British Borneo

    W. H. Treacher

British Dictionary definitions for unfermented


noun (ˈfɜːmɛnt)
  1. any agent or substance, such as a bacterium, mould, yeast, or enzyme, that causes fermentation
  2. another word for fermentation
  3. commotion; unrest
verb (fəˈmɛnt)
  1. to undergo or cause to undergo fermentation
  2. to stir up or seethe with excitement
Derived Formsfermentable, adjectivefermentability, nounfermenter, noun

Word Origin for ferment

C15: from Latin fermentum yeast, from fervēre to seethe


See foment
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 unfermented



early 15c., from Middle French ferment, from Latin fermentum (see ferment (v.)). Figurative sense of "anger, passion" is from 1670s.



late 14c., from Old French fermenter (13c.) and directly from Latin fermentare "to leaven, ferment," from fermentum "substance causing fermentation, leaven," from root of fervere "to boil, seethe" (see brew). Figurative use from 1650s. Related: Fermented; fermenting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unfermented in Medicine


  1. An agent, as a yeast, bacterium, mold, or enzyme, that causes fermentation.
  2. Fermentation.
  1. To cause or undergo fermentation.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.