Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Something, such as a yeast, bacterium, mold, or enzyme, that causes fermentation.
  • n. Fermentation.
  • n. A state of agitation or of turbulent change or development.
  • n. An agent that precipitates or is capable of precipitating such a state; a catalyst.
  • transitive v. To produce by or as if by fermentation.
  • transitive v. To cause to undergo fermentation.
  • transitive v. To make turbulent; excite or agitate.
  • intransitive v. To undergo fermentation.
  • intransitive v. To be in an excited or agitated state; seethe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To react, using fermentation; especially to produce alcohol by aging or by allowing yeast to act on sugars; to brew.
  • v. To stir up, agitate, cause unrest.
  • n. Something, such as a yeast that causes fermentation.
  • n. A state of agitation or of turbulent change.
  • n. A catalyst.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which causes fermentation, as yeast, barm, or fermenting beer.
  • n. Intestine motion; heat; tumult; agitation.
  • n. A gentle internal motion of the constituent parts of a fluid; fermentation.
  • transitive v. To cause ferment or fermentation in; to set in motion; to excite internal emotion in; to heat.
  • intransitive v. To undergo fermentation; to be in motion, or to be excited into sensible internal motion, as the constituent particles of an animal or vegetable fluid; to work; to effervesce.
  • intransitive v. To be agitated or excited by violent emotions.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A gentle boiling, or the internal motion of the constituent parts of a fluid.
  • n. That which is capable of causing fermentation.
  • n. Figuratively, commotion; heat; tumult; agitation: as, to put the passions in a ferment.
  • To cause to boil gently; cause ebullition in.
  • To cause fermentation in.
  • Figuratively, to set in agitation; excite; arouse.
  • To undergo fermentation.
  • Figuratively, to be in agitation; be excited, as by violent emotions or passions, or great problems.
  • n.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a substance capable of bringing about fermentation
  • n. a state of agitation or turbulent change or development
  • v. be in an agitated or excited state
  • v. cause to undergo fermentation
  • v. work up into agitation or excitement
  • n. a process in which an agent causes an organic substance to break down into simpler substances; especially, the anaerobic breakdown of sugar into alcohol
  • v. go sour or spoil

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin fermentum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fermentare ("to leaven, ferment"), from fermentum ("substance causing fermentation"), from fervere ("to boil, seethe"). Confer French ferment, see also fervent. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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