Definition of barm in US English:



  • 1The froth on fermenting malt liquor.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are still some who believe that bread made with barm had an especially good flavour.’
    globule, bead, blister, drop
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1dialect, archaic Yeast or leaven.
      • ‘So the first barm-raised bread was developed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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


Old English beorma, of West Germanic origin.