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 ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.