Ale \Ale\ ([=a]l), n. [AS. ealu, akin to Icel., Sw., and Dan. ["o]l, Lith. alus a kind of beer, OSlav. ol[u^] beer. Cf. Ir. ol drink, drinking.] 1. An intoxicating liquor made from an infusion of malt by fermentation and the addition of a bitter, usually hops. [1913 Webster] Note: 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. [1913 Webster] 2. A festival in English country places, so called from the liquor drunk. ``At wakes and ales.'' --B. Jonson.``On ember eves and holy ales.'' --Shak. [1913 Webster]