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[bool-yuh-beys, bool-yuh-beys; French boo-ya-bes] /ˌbul yəˈbeɪs, ˈbul yəˌbeɪs; French bu yaˈbɛs/
a soup or stew containing several kinds of fish and often shellfish, usually combined with olive oil, tomatoes, and saffron.
Origin of bouillabaisse
1850-55; < French < Provençal boui-abaisso, taken as either “boil it, then lower the heat,” or “when it boils, lower the heat”; boui 2nd singular imperative or 3rd singular present of bouie to boil1; abaisso 2nd singular imperative of abaissa to lower; see abase Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for bouillabaisse
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was half-past seven already, the bouillabaisse could not wait.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • The better, finer and firmer the fish, the better the bouillabaisse.

    Dishes & Beverages of the Old South

    Martha McCulloch Williams
  • Pascal's is famous for its fish, and especially for its bouillabaisse.

    The Car That Went Abroad

    Albert Bigelow Paine
  • It is all served together like bouillabaisse, the semolina answering to the bread, and extract of pomidoro is added.

    Castellinaria Henry Festing Jones
  • Though this petit djeuner was very recherch, the bouillabaisse threw all the accessory dishes into the shade.

  • Rub with garlic some round slices of bread and serve the bouillabaisse on them.

    Allied Cookery

    Grace Glergue Harrison and Gertrude Clergue
  • There are over a hundred ways of making a bouillabaisse; the above is one of the best.

  • As soon as we had sat down, I saw with delight the great soup-tureen, whence escaped a delicious fragrance of bouillabaisse.

British Dictionary definitions for bouillabaisse


a rich stew or soup of fish and vegetables flavoured with spices, esp saffron
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Provençal bouiabaisso, literally: boil down
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for bouillabaisse

fish stew, 1845, from French bouillabaisse (19c.), from Provençal bouiabaisso, boulh-abaisso, a compound of two verbs corresponding to English boil-abase (the latter in the original sense of "to lower").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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