Definition of fermentation in English:



  • 1The chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, typically involving effervescence and the giving off of heat.

    • ‘In the lower part of the digestive system it can be a major irritant, causing inflammation and bacterial/fungal fermentation.’
    • ‘An even stranger inorganic metabolism, inorganic fermentation, is conducted by some bacteria.’
    • ‘Toward the end of the nineteenth century, Harden began an intense study of the fermentation process, particularly alcoholic fermentation.’
    • ‘The bacteria naturally present during fermentation use up most of the lactose in these products.’
    • ‘By the time the grapes are boxed and shipped across the island, heat and humidity have triggered fermentation from natural yeasts.’
    • ‘The process of fermentation converts sugars in the dough to carbon-dioxide which causes the bread to rise.’
    • ‘When we convert the sugars into alcohol by fermentation, we release carbon dioxide and produce a flammable fuel that can be burned in an engine.’
    • ‘Ethanol is a naturally occurring substance resulting from the fermentation by yeast of fruit sugars.’
    • ‘Eventually the acid becomes so concentrated that even the ‘good’ bacteria are inhibited: fermentation stops and the food keeps.’
    • ‘As a result, partial chemical/enzymatic digestion and limited bacterial fermentation occur.’
    • ‘Competition among microbes for access to fruit sugars is intense, and may have elicited the initial evolution of ethanolic fermentation by yeast as a means of killing bacterial competitors.’
    • ‘All bovids have a four-chambered stomach and digest cellulose through bacterial fermentation.’
    • ‘We can assemble a history of yeast fermentation from this information now.’
    • ‘Some short-chain fatty acids are produced by bacterial fermentation of dietary carbohydrates.’
    • ‘They ruminate and use bacterial fermentation to help digest their food.’
    • ‘It has been suggested that fermentation by particular yeasts or bacteria does not necessarily decrease fruit palatability, but could even increase it.’
    • ‘They are toxic chemicals formed during fermentation.’
    • ‘Gas is caused by the fermentation of carbohydrates broken down by bacteria, a perfectly normal part of digestion.’
    1. 1.1The process of fermentation involved in the making of beer, wine, and liquor, in which sugars are converted to ethyl alcohol.
      • ‘After fermentation these wines go into the same type of casks as wines destined to become Fino.’
      • ‘Since fermentation involves the conversion of sugar to alcohol, grapes that are overly ripe and high in sugar become wines that have an alcoholic burn and often taste unbalanced and one-dimensionally sweet.’
      • ‘Some faulty wines undergo a secondary fermentation in the bottle, due to a small amount of yeast and sugar left inadvertently in the wine.’
      • ‘In the second, essentially a truncated red wine fermentation, the bubbling juice is left in contact with the skins for a few days, then run off into its own vat.’
      • ‘The high sugar Muscat grapes have their natural fermentation into dry wine stopped artificially by adding neutral raw alcohol to the vats of wine.’
      • ‘The fact that the beer is still in the process of fermentation means that it is as fresh and flavourful as possible.’
      • ‘So, if the winemakers want a softer wine with buttery characteristics - a Chardonnay, for example - they put the wine through malolactic fermentation.’
      • ‘Although the wine is ice cold and has barely finished malolactic fermentation, the extraordinary breed and complexity of the wine are already clearly showing.’
      • ‘When a few wine makers had the idea to release their Beaujolais wines right after fermentation they didn't realize the impact this would have on their region.’
      • ‘There are a variety of ways to vinify sparkling wine, but all are based on taking an already fermented wine through a second fermentation process in a sealed container.’
      • ‘The yeast is kept in the beer, and the beer undergoes secondary fermentation over a period of time in the cask.’
      • ‘Even if this had been grape juice, it would soon turn to wine because the fermentation process would immediately begin.’
      • ‘Since fermentation produces a substantial amount of heat, the tanks must be cooled constantly to maintain the proper temperature.’
      • ‘Pump an oak-loving white grape into a barrel to ferment and a richer, creamier wine is the result; finish off a red wine's fermentation in barrel and the reward is a softer, more approachable wine.’
      • ‘Fortified wines can be sweet or dry, depending on whether the spirit is added during or after fermentation of the base wine.’
      • ‘They can have the positive effect of precipitating malolactic fermentation in wines with an excess of malic acid.’
    2. 1.2archaic Agitation; excitement.
      ‘I had found Paris in high fermentation’


Late Middle English: from late Latin fermentatio(n-), from Latin fermentare to ferment (see ferment).