Word curio icon

Word Curio

July 4, 2020

Word of the Day: Yeasty

1 CQ

Word of the Day : September 22, 2017

yeasty \YEE-stee\ adjective


1 : of, relating to, or resembling yeast

2 a : immature, unsettled

b : marked by change

c : full of vitality

d : frivolous


"[A]ll this yeasty mingling of dimly understood facts with vague but deep impressions … had been disturbing her during the weeks of her engagement." — George Eliot, Daniel Deronda, 1876

"'O.K., I'm ready,' Ms. Boym said, addressing this reporter's microphone and letting loose a warm, yeasty laugh." — William L. Hamilton, The New York Times, 28 Nov. 2002

Did You Know?

The word yeast has existed in English for as long as the language has existed. Spellings have varied over time—in Middle English it was yest and in Old English gist or giest—but the word's meaning has remained basically the same for centuries. In its first documented English uses in the 1500s, the adjective yeasty described people or things with a yellowish or frothy appearance similar to the froth that forms on the top of fermented beverages (such as beers or ales). Since then, a number of extended figurative senses of yeasty have surfaced, all of which play in some way or another on the excitable, chemical nature of fermentation, such as by connoting unsettled activity or significant change.

Aired September 22, 2017

All Merriam-Webster content is available at

  • Recommended Recommended
  • History & In Progress History
  • Browse Library
  • Most Popular Library

Get Personalized Recommendations

Let us help you figure out what to learn! By taking a short interview you’ll be able to specify your learning interests and goals, so we can recommend the perfect courses and lessons to try next.

Start Interview

You don't have any lessons in your history.
Just find something that looks interesting and start learning!

500 characters max