Definition for ALE

ALE, n. [Sax. eala, eale, or aloth; G. äl; Sw. öl; Dan. öl; Ir. ol. Qu. Ir. olam, to drink.]

  1. A liquor made from an infusion of malt by fermentation. It differs from beer, in having a smaller proportion of hops. It is of different sorts, chiefly pale and brown; the first made from malt slightly dried; the second, from malt more considerably dried or roasted. Ale was the common drink of the ancient inhabitants of Europe. It is usually made with barley; but sometimes with wheat, rye, millet, oats, &c. – Encyc.
  2. A merry meeting in English country places, so called from the liquor drank. – Ben Jonson. Medicated ales are those which are prepared for medicinal purposes, by an infusion of herbs during fermentation. – Encyc.

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