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From Middle English barm, barme, berm, bearm, from Old English bearm (“lap; bosom”), from Proto-Germanic *barmaz (“lap; bosom”), from Proto-Indo-European *b?er- (“to bear”). Cognate with German Barm (“lap; bosom”).
barm (plural barms)
- (obsolete outside dialectal) Bosom, lap.
From Middle English berme, berm, from Old English beorma, from Proto-Germanic *bermô (“yeast; barm”); related to the dialectal Low German Bärm (“yeast”), from Middle Low German barm, berm. The cake sense is possibly a shortened form of barmcake, which would be made with yeast as described in that sense, or possibly it is from the Irish báirín breac, a type of bread.
barm (countable and uncountable, plural barms)
- Foam rising upon beer, or other malt liquors, when fermenting, and used as leaven in making bread and in brewing; yeast.
- A small, flat, round individual loaf or roll of bread.
From Middle English bermen, from the noun (see above).