a. A fermented alcoholic beverage brewed from malt, usually flavored with hops.
b. A fermented beverage brewed by traditional methods that is then dealcoholized so that the finished product contains no more than 0.5 percent alcohol.
c. A carbonated beverage produced by a method in which the fermentation process is either circumvented or altered, resulting in a finished product having an alcohol content of no more than 0.01 percent.
2. A beverage made from extracts of roots and plants: birch beer.
3. A serving of one of these beverages.
[Middle English ber, from Old English bēor, from West Germanic, probably from Latin bibere, to drink; see pō(i)- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.