One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A drink made from ale boiled with spices and sugar, served with sops of bread and frequently given to sick people.
Late Middle English; earliest use found in Promptorium Parvulorum. From ale + bree. The some forms probably partly (in early use) show development of an epenthetic vowel in the second element (due to unstressed position), and partly reflect folk-etymological association with berry.
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