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Ferment Definition

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Other Ferment Definition

[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"

Misc. Definitions

\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. --Pope.
\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 effervesce.
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.

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