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From German lauter (pure, clear, adj).[1] Began to become common in English in the 1880s.[2]



lauter (not comparable)

  1. (brewing, of mash, only attributive) Clear.
    • 1905, Pure Products, volume 1, page 176:
      The practice in the Munich brewery made it plain that the object of the drawing off of the thick mash is to completely separate the thick mash from the lauter mash.
    • 1992, Eric Warner, German Wheat Beer →ISBN:
      Since the husks and coarse grits are essential for distancing grist particles from one another in the lauter mash, their diminished presence in wheat beer worts will impede the lautering process.
    • 2003, Gregory J. Noonan, New Brewing Lager Beer: The Most Comprehensive Book →ISBN:
      The thin lauter mash is quickly transferred to the tun, given a last thorough stirring, and allowed to settle.


lauter (third-person singular simple present lauters, present participle lautering, simple past and past participle lautered)

  1. (brewing, transitive) To subject to lautering.


  1. ^ lauter” in Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  2. ^ See e.g. The Brewer's Guardian of August 30, 1881, page 280, which also notes the German etymology.




Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle High German lūter, from Old High German hlūttar, from Proto-Germanic *hlūtraz. Compare Dutch louter (German in form), Gothic 𐌷𐌻𐌿𐍄𐍂𐍃 (hlūtrs).


lauter (comparative lauterer or lautrer, superlative am lautersten)

  1. (formal) sincere; honorable; of integrity; correct
    Der Angeklagten können lautere Absichten nicht abgesprochen werden.
    “The defendant’s honorable intentions cannot be denied.”
  2. (formal, literary, most often of metal) genuine; pure
    Der König trug einen Ring aus lauterem Gold.
    “The king wore a ring of genuine gold.”
  3. (colloquial, uninflected, not comparable) a lot of; a bunch of; much; many; several
    Ich hab auf der Party lauter alte Freunde getroffen.
    “I met a bunch of old friends at the party.”
Derived terms[edit]



  1. (formal) in a sincere, honorable, correct manner; with integrity
    Die andere Seite hat sich in den Verhandlungen nicht lauter verhalten.
    “The other side did not behave correctly during the negotiations.”
  2. (colloquial) just; only; exclusively; often best translated with all
    Die Leute in der Verwaltung sind lauter Idioten.
    “Those people in the administration are all idiots.”
    Das ist doch lauter Unsinn, was du sagst.
    “But that’s just nonsense what you’re saying.”
Usage notes[edit]
  • It is somewhat arbitrary to separate the sense “a lot, a bunch” (see the adjective) from the sense “exclusively, only” (adverb). Both often overlap and are not explicitly distinct in their construction. The distinction uninflected adjective versus adverb has been chosen here for simplicity, that is because the German synonyms and English translations tend to be of the respective parts of speech. — It may be well possible to analyse both senses as either adjectives or adverbs.

Etymology 2[edit]



  1. comparative degree of laut

Further reading[edit]