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Dry yeast, for use in baking. (3)
A diagram of a typical yeast cell


From Middle English yest, yeest, gest, gist, from Old English ġist, ġyst, from Proto-West Germanic *jestu, from Proto-Germanic *jestuz. Cognate with Saterland Frisian Jääst (yeast), West Frisian gêst, gist (yeast), Dutch gist (yeast), German Low German Gest (yeast), German Gischt (sea foam), Swedish jäst (yeast), Norwegian jest (yeast), Icelandic jöstur (yeast).



yeast (countable and uncountable, plural yeasts)

  1. An often humid, yellowish froth produced by fermenting malt worts, and used to brew beer, leaven bread, and also used in certain medicines.
  2. A single-celled fungus of a wide variety of taxonomic families.
    • 1903, Alfred Peter Carlslund Jørgensen (R. Grey, translator), Practical Management of Pure Yeast: The Application and Examination of Brewery, Distillery, and Wine, Yeasts, The Brewing trade review, page 17:
      A microscopical examination of the yeast taken from these rapid vigorous fermentations will only be able to give useful conclusions in one respect.
    1. A true yeast or budding yeast in order Saccharomycetales.
      1. baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae
        1. A compressed cake or dried granules of this substance used for mixing with flour to make bread dough rise.
      2. brewer's yeast, certain species of Saccharomyces, principally Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces carlsbergensis.
    2. Candida, a ubiquitous fungus that can cause various kinds of infections in humans.
      1. The resulting infection, candidiasis.
  3. (figuratively) A frothy foam.

Derived terms[edit]

terms derived from yeast (noun)


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also[edit]


yeast (third-person singular simple present yeasts, present participle yeasting, simple past and past participle yeasted)

  1. To ferment.
  2. (of something prepared with a yeasted dough) To rise.
  3. (African-American Vernacular, slang) To exaggerate. [2]


  1. ^ Jones, M. Jean (1973 August) The Regional English of the Former Inhabitants of Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains[1], University of Tennessee, Knoxville, page 121.
  2. ^