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

  • n. Weak or inferior beer.
  • n. Unimportant things; trivia.
  • adj. Trivial; unimportant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Used other than as an idiom: see small,‎ beer.
  • n. Beer with a low alcoholic content
  • n. Something that is of relatively little importance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. See under Beer.
  • n. insignificant matters.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. something of small importance


Sorry, no etymologies found.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • I believe the term comes from beer of low alcoholic strength, rather than low volume. If I remember right, it's made by sparging used malted barley with hot water and fermenting the resulting (very thin) wort, or by re-mashing spent grains or somesuch -- akin to a second pressing for wine or olive oil. But I could be wrong; I don't have my brewing references handy.

    See also my list Wort to the Wise for more beer and brewing terms. There are some other good lists out there as well.

    May 21, 2008

  • An idiom to refer to something unimportant.

    May 21, 2008