• synonyms


[wurt, wawrt]
  1. the unfermented or fermenting infusion of malt that after fermentation becomes beer or mash.
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Origin of wort1

before 1000; Middle English; Old English wyrt; cognate with German Würze spice; akin to wort2


[wurt, wawrt]
  1. a plant, herb, or vegetable (now usually used only in combination): figwort.
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Origin of wort2

before 900; Middle English; Old English wyrt root, plant; cognate with Old High German wurz, Old Norse urt herb, Gothic waurts root; akin to root1, Old Norse rōt, Latin rādīx, Greek rhíza


  1. whort.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for wort


  1. (in combination) any of various unrelated plants, esp ones formerly used to cure diseasesliverwort; spleenwort
  2. the sweet liquid obtained from the soaked mixture of warm water and ground malt, used to make a malt liquor
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Word Origin

Old English wyrt root, related to Old High German warz, Gothic waurts root
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 wort


"a plant," Old English wyrt "root, herb," from Proto-Germanic *wurtiz (cf. Old Saxon wurt, Old Norse, Danish urt, Old High German wurz "plant, herb," German Wurz, Gothic waurts, Old Norse rot "root"), from PIE root *wrad- "twig, root" (see radish). St. John's wort attested from 15c.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper