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ferment (noun) trouble, excitement, and confusion.
A country is in ferment if it is in deep trouble and confusion resulting from people rising against the government. A state of trouble and agitation in general is ferment. Iraq now, for example, is in ferment because there is political and social trouble there following American and British military intervention. A period of political ferment is a period of political unrest. A region or an organization is in ferment if it is in trouble and is in a state of confusion.
- The late 1980s and the early 1990s saw the former USSR in deep political and social ferment which ended up in the dissolution of the USSR.
- The whole of Europe was in ferment during the period of World War II when the whole continent was in the grip of deep trouble with the people having to live in total insecurity.