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near beer

any of several malt beverages that are similar to beer but are usually considered nonalcoholic because they have an alcoholic content of less than ½ percent.
Origin of near beer
1905-10, Americanism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for near-beer
Historical Examples
  • Only wonder of nature I ever saw in Schoenstrom was my friend Mac trying to think he was soused after a case of near-beer.

    Free Air Sinclair Lewis

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