from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Weak or inferior beer.
  • noun Unimportant things; trivia.
  • adjective Trivial; unimportant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

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

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

  • noun something of small importance


Sorry, no etymologies found.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


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  • An idiom to refer to something unimportant.

    May 21, 2008

  • 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