Ale (#), n. [AS. ealu, akin to Icel., Sw., and Dan. ol, Lith. alus a kind of beer, OSlav. ol beer. Cf. Ir. ol drink, drinking.]
An intoxicating liquor made from an infusion of malt by fermentation and the addition of a bitter, usually hops.
⇒ The word ale, in England and the United States, usually designates a heavier kind of fermented liquor, and the word beer a lighter kind. The word beer is also in common use as the generic name for all malt liquors.
A festival in English country places, so called from the liquor drunk.
"At wakes and ales
." B. Jonson
."On ember eves and holy ales
© Webster 1913.