• verb to prepare tea or coffee for drinking by infusing it to develop its flavour, or to infuse in order to develop flavour
  • verb to make beer or similar alcoholic drinks by a process of steeping, boiling, and fermenting grain with hops, sugar, and other ingredients


  • noun beer or a drink of beer. A word used by northern British drinkers (usually without the indefinite article) and by American college students (usually in the form ‘a brew’).
  • noun tea. A term popular in institutions, especially in the 1950s.


  • noun liquid which has been brewed
  • verb to make tea

Origin & History of “brew”

The ancestral meaning of brew has basically to do with ‘heat’. It comes from an Indo-European base *bhreu- or *bhru, which is also the source of Latin fervēre ‘boil’, from which we get fervent, ferment, and the second syllable of comfrey. Broth and possibly bread can be traced back to the same Indo-European base, and some etymologists have linked it with burn. To ‘brew’ was thus originally something like ‘make a drink by boiling’, ‘fermentation’ being a secondary but connected connotation.