small beer
Beer Beer, n. [OE. beor, ber, AS. be['o]r; akin to Fries. biar, Icel. bj?rr, OHG. bior, D. & G. bier, and possibly E. brew. [root]93, See {Brew}.] 1. A fermented liquor made from any malted grain, but commonly from barley malt, with hops or some other substance to impart a bitter flavor. [1913 Webster]

Note: Beer has different names, as {small beer}, {ale}, {porter}, {brown stout}, {lager beer}, according to its strength, or other qualities. See {Ale}. [1913 Webster]

2. A fermented extract of the roots and other parts of various plants, as spruce, ginger, sassafras, etc. [1913 Webster]

{Small beer}, weak beer; (fig.) insignificant matters. ``To suckle fools, and chronicle small beer.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Small beer — Beer Beer, n. [OE. beor, ber, AS. be[ o]r; akin to Fries. biar, Icel. bj?rr, OHG. bior, D. & G. bier, and possibly E. brew. [root]93, See {Brew}.] 1. A fermented liquor made from any malted grain, but commonly from barley malt, with hops or some… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Small beer — Small Small (sm[add]l), a. [Compar. {Smaller}; superl. {Smallest}.] [OE. small, AS. sm[ae]l; akin to D. smal narrow, OS. & OHG. smal small, G. schmal narrow, Dan. & Sw. smal, Goth. smals small, Icel. smali smal cattle, sheep, or goats; cf. Gr.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • small beer — 1560s, originally weak beer; used figuratively of small things or trifling matters. SMALL (Cf. Small) with the meaning of low alcoholic content is attested from mid 15c …   Etymology dictionary

  • small beer — If something is small beer, it s unimportant …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • small beer — small′ beer′ n. 1) vin weak beer 2) brit. Slang. trivial matters …   From formal English to slang

  • small beer — n. 1. [Brit. Archaic] weak or inferior beer 2. Informal a person or thing of little importance …   English World dictionary

  • small beer — noun uncount MAINLY BRITISH INFORMAL SMALL POTATOES …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • small beer — ► small beer chiefly Brit. something unimportant. Main Entry: ↑small …   English terms dictionary

  • small beer — noun Date: 1568 1. weak or inferior beer 2. something of small importance ; trivia • small beer adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • small beer — noun a) Beer with a low alcoholic content The income from gold plated widgets is small beer compared to the income from the standard ones. b) Something that is of relatively little importance. Syn: peanuts, small po …   Wiktionary

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