Definition of barm in English:



  • 1mass noun The froth on fermenting malt liquor.

    • ‘Though the recipe included in the book by Weaver calls for a sourdough mixture, I felt that a beer barm might be a good replication of the leavening agent.’
    • ‘Poultices of wormwood boiled in grease, barm, or wine, may be applied with good success to white swellings.’
    • ‘Spring water, barm and malt of grain have created this classic whisky.’
    • ‘There are still some who believe that bread made with barm had an especially good flavour.’
    globule, bead, blister, drop
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic, dialect Yeast or leaven.
      • ‘Elizabeth David, in a fine account of the history of yeast in English baking, remarks that: In Chaucer's England one of the names for yeast or barm was goddisgoode.’
      • ‘So the first barm-raised bread was developed.’
      • ‘It looks like barm or yeast, but, being unfit for use, is only beggarly barm at best.’
      leavening, ferment, fermentation agent, raising agent, yeast, baking powder
      View synonyms
  • 2Northern English

    short for barm cake


Old English beorma, of West Germanic origin.