Ail vs ale

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Ail means to afflict a person, as a transitive verb ail means to be the cause of affliction or trouble, as an intransitive verb ail means to be afflicted, to be in poor health. Ail appears in the fourteenth century, derived from the Old English eglan, meaning to trouble, plague, afflict. Related words are ails, ailed and ailing.

Ale is a type of beer made from malt, hops and yeast. American ale is a bitter-flavored beer with a higher alcohol content than regular beer, brewed by top fermentation. British ale is any beer other than lager, stout or porter. Historically, ale is a beer brewed without hops. The word ale comes from the Old English ealu, meaning ale, beer.


‘Workload, sexism, lack of voice ail Asian teachers’ (The Korea Herald)

Twenty-five swimmers Sunday afternoon completed nearly 63 miles worth of laps during a swim-a-thon to raise funds for an ailing classmate’s family. (USA Today)

What seems to ail the current team, apart from post-World Cup fatigue and disappointment in going so far only to lose a penalty shootout in the semifinal against Argentina, is a split between the older players and the young, with too few players at their peak in their mid-20s. (The New York Times International)

Mr Varty said they had had 35 different ales available in the pub and at their outside bar in the village square. (The NorthWest Evening Mail)

This American-style pale ale leads with a beautiful bouquet of hop aromas projecting pine, grapefruit, and citrus. (The Phoenix New Times)

In 2010 and 2011, the Rangers doused Hamilton in ginger ale rather than champagne after clinchers to make sure he was included. (The Dallas Morning News)