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Definition of 'ferment'


  1. a state of agitation or turbulent change or development; "the political ferment produced new leadership"; "social unrest"
       Synonyms: agitation fermentation tempestuousness unrest
  2. a substance capable of bringing about fermentation
  3. a process in which an agent causes an organic substance to break down into simpler substances; especially, the anaerobic breakdown of sugar into alcohol
       Synonyms: zymosis zymolysis fermentation fermenting


  1. be in an agitated or excited state; "The Middle East is fermenting"; "Her mind ferments"
  2. work up into agitation or excitement; "Islam is fermenting Africa"
  3. 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"
       Synonyms: work
  4. go sour or spoil; "The milk has soured"; "The wine worked"; "The cream has turned--we have to throw it out"
       Synonyms: sour turn work

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