from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Vinegar produced by the fermentation of ale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. vinegar produced from fermented ale.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Sour ale; vinegar made of ale.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Ale or beer which has been passed through the acetous fermentation; sour ale, used in the north of England as a cheap substitute for vinegar.


Middle English, blend of ale, ale; see ale, and vinegar, vinegar; see vinegar.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Blend of ale and vinegar. (Wiktionary)


  • This was the standard form of vinegar in beer-drinking Britain, where it was originally called alegar.

    On Food and Cooking, The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  • Take a little alegar or white wine vinegar, and put to it two or three blades of mace, with a little whole pepper and Jamaica pepper, a few bay leaves and salt, put to your buds, and scald them two or three times, then they are fit for use.

    English Housewifery

  • Take a little good alegar, put to it a little long pepper and

    English Housewifery

  • Jamaica pepper, a few bay leaves, a little horse-radish, a handful or two of mustard-seed, a little salt and a little rockambol if you have any, if not a few shalots; boil them altogether in the alegar, which put to your walnuts and let it stand three or four days, giving them a scald once a day, then tie them up for use.

    English Housewifery

  • Take a quart of vinegar or alegar, put it into a jug, then take

    English Housewifery

  • Take a little alegar, (the quantity must be equal to the quantity of your cucumbers, and so must your seasoning) a little pepper, a little Jamaica and long pepper, two or three shalots, a little horse-radish scraped or sliced, and little salt and a bit of allum, boil them altogether, and scald your cucumbers two or three times with your pickle, so tie them up for use.

    English Housewifery

  • Scale and clean your herrings, take out the milts and roans, and skewer them round, season them with a little pepper and salt, put them in a deep pot, cover them with alegar, put to them a little whole Jamaica pepper, and two or three bay leaves; bake them and keep them for use.

    English Housewifery

  • And as to your Rhenish and claret, and such stuff, I would not give a penny for the lot -- I'd as soon have a quart of alegar.

    It Might Have Been The Story of the Gunpowder Plot

  • She stuck to his heels all the way along, and she beat him black and blue with her tongue, and he looked like a butt of alegar with a hogshead o 'mustard in it.

    All's Well Alice's Victory

  • "And there is alegar in the house, plenty," added Matthew.

    The White Lady of Hazelwood A Tale of the Fourteenth Century


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  • From Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution

    March 6, 2011