Definition of wort in English:



  • 1in combination Used in names of plants and herbs, especially those used, especially formerly, as food or medicinally, e.g., butterwort, woundwort.

    1. 1.1archaic A plant or herb used medicinally.
      • ‘As many might know, one of the worts' herbal properties is as a calmative.’
      • ‘St. John's wort is an herb that some people use to treat depression.’
      • ‘The garden's water feature is surrounded by tiles that show different parts of herbs and worts, such as seed heads, flowers and leaves.’
      • ‘St John's wort is an ancient herb, and was known to the Greeks and Romans as an astringent to be rubbed on wounds.’
      • ‘Crato (consil. 21. lib. 2) speaks against all herbs and worts, except bugloss, fennel, parsley, dill, bawm, succory.’
  • 2The sweet infusion of ground malt or other grain before fermentation, used to produce beer and distilled malt liquors.

    • ‘Purified water is first used to cool the boiled wort (the beer after boiling but before fermenting), becoming heated in the process.’
    • ‘To begin the fermentation process, the cooled wort is transferred into a fermentation vessel to which the yeast has already been added.’
    • ‘Waste heat recovered from the boiling kettle and from wort (unfermented beer) as it's cooled down is used to heat water for brewing and for cleaning the tanks.’
    • ‘The ideal pH of the wort, which is the mash soaked in hot water, is about 4.7.’
    • ‘A vigorous boil drives the chemical reactions that make the hops bitter, and this is the challenge for every home brewer - to get the wort to boil with sufficient enthusiasm.’
    • ‘If the brewer's wort, referred to above, is not fermented but instead evaporated in a partial vacuum, the result is malt extract, a brown, sweet, and sticky concentrate.’
    • ‘Then you transfer the wort to a glass carboy, preferably, although you can use a plastic bucket with a well fitting lid (this is a bad idea but some people do brew this way) and you pitch the yeast.’
    • ‘Its basic raw materials are barley, hops, and water, and the process involves the infusion of malted barley and water, followed by fermentation of the liquid or wort drawn from the mixture.’
    • ‘Fermentation is the process by which yeast converts the glucose in the wort to ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide gas - giving the beer both its alcohol content and its carbonation.’
    • ‘After most of the sugar is removed, the barley is then discarded and the sweet liquid, called wort, moves on.’
    • ‘The cooling water is chilled first, so that the volume of water that is required to cool down one entire batch of wort is about equal to the volume of wort.’
    • ‘At this stage of production, the wort is brought to a rolling boil.’
    • ‘When the wort is drained, the solids stay in the kettle.’
    • ‘Instead, we recover heat from the boiling kettle and from wort [unfermented beer] as it's cooled down from boiling temperatures to fermentation temperatures.’
    • ‘At the end of the boil we will have a finished wort.’


Old English wyrt, of Germanic origin; related to root.