Definitions for: Ferment

[n] a chemical phenomenon in which an organic molecule splits into simpler substances
[n] a process in which an agent causes an organic substance to break down into simpler substances; especially, the anaerobic breakdown of sugar into alcohol
[n] a state of agitation or turbulent change or development; "the political ferment produced a new leadership"; "social unrest"
[n] a substance capable of bringing about fermentation
[v] go sour or spoil; "The milk has soured"; "The wine worked"; "The cream has turned--we have to throw it out"
[v] cause to undergo fermentation; "We ferment the grapes for a very long time to achieve high alcohol content"; "The vintner worked the wine in big oak vats"
[v] work up into agitation or excitement; "Islam is fermenting Africa"
[v] be in an agitated or excited state; "The Middle East is fermenting"; "Her mind ferments"

Webster (1913) Definition: Fer"ment, n. [L. fermentum ferment (in senses 1 & 2),
perh. for fervimentum, fr. fervere to be boiling hot, boil,
ferment: cf. F. ferment. Cf. 1st Barm, Fervent.]
1. That which causes fermentation, as yeast, barm, or
fermenting beer.

Note: Ferments are of two kinds: (a) Formed or organized
ferments. (b) Unorganized or structureless ferments.
The latter are also called {soluble or chemical
ferments}, and enzymes. Ferments of the first class
are as a rule simple microscopic vegetable organisms,
and the fermentations which they engender are due to
their growth and development; as, the acetic ferment,
the butyric ferment, etc. See Fermentation.
Ferments of the second class, on the other hand, are
chemical substances, as a rule soluble in glycerin and
precipitated by alcohol. In action they are catalytic
and, mainly, hydrolytic. Good examples are pepsin of
the dastric juice, ptyalin of the salvia, and disease
of malt.

2. Intestine motion; heat; tumult; agitation.

Subdue and cool the ferment of desire. --Rogers.

the nation is in a ferment. --Walpole.

3. A gentle internal motion of the constituent parts of a
fluid; fermentation. [R.]

Down to the lowest lees the ferment ran. --Thomson.

ferment oils, volatile oils produced by the fermentation of
plants, and not originally contained in them. These were
the quintessences of the alchenists. --Ure.

Fer*ment", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Fermented; p. pr. &
vb. n. Fermenting.] [L. fermentare, fermentatum: cf. F.
fermenter. See Ferment, n.]
To cause ferment of fermentation in; to set in motion; to
excite internal emotion in; to heat.

Ye vigorous swains! while youth ferments your blood.

Fer*ment", v. i.
1. To undergo fermentation; to be in motion, or to be excited
into sensible internal motion, as the constituent
oarticles of an animal or vegetable fluid; to work; to

2. To be agitated or excited by violent emotions.

But finding no redress, ferment an rage. --Milton.

The intellect of the age was a fermenting intellect.
--De Quincey.

Synonyms: agitation, fermentation, fermentation, fermentation, fermenting, sour, turn, unrest, work, zymolysis, zymosis

See Also: change state, chemical action, chemical change, chemical phenomenon, chemical process, convert, fire up, heat, ignite, inflame, matter, seethe, stir up, Sturm und Drang, substance, turbulence, upheaval, vinification, vinify, wake

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