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verb (used with object)
  1. to cook by direct heat, as on a gridiron over the heat or in an oven under the heat; grill: to broil a steak.
  2. to scorch; make very hot.
verb (used without object)
  1. to be subjected to great heat; become broiled.
  2. to burn with impatience, annoyance, etc.
  1. the act or state of broiling; state of being broiled.
  2. something broiled, especially meat: She ordered a beef broil and salad.

Origin of broil1

1300–50; Middle English brulen, brolyn, broillen < Anglo-French bruill(i)er, broil(l)er, Old French brusler, brul(l)er to burn (French brûler), a conflation of the verbs represented by Old French bruir to burn (< Frankish *brōjan; compare Middle High German brü(ej)en, German brühen to scald) and usler < Latin ustulāre to scorch
Related formsbroil·ing·ly, adverb


  1. an angry quarrel or struggle; disturbance; tumult: a violent broil over who was at fault.
verb (used without object)
  1. to quarrel; brawl.

Origin of broil2

1400–50; late Middle English broylen to present in disorder, quarrel < Anglo-French, Old French broiller to jumble together < Gallo-Romance *brodiculāre, equivalent to *brod- (< Germanic; see broth, brewis) + Late Latin -iculāre v. suffix
Related formsbroil·ing·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for broil


  1. mainly US and Canadian to cook (meat, fish, etc) by direct heat, as under a grill or over a hot fire, or (of meat, fish, etc) to be cooked in this wayUsual equivalent (in Britain and other countries): grill
  2. to become or cause to become extremely hot
  3. (intr) to be furious
  1. the process of broiling
  2. something broiled

Word Origin

C14: from Old French bruillir to burn, of uncertain origin


  1. a loud quarrel or disturbance; brawl
  1. (intr) to brawl; quarrel

Word Origin

C16: from Old French brouiller to mix, from breu broth; see brewis, brose
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

Word Origin and History for broil


"to cook," late 14c. (earlier "to burn," mid-14c.), from Old French bruller "to broil, roast" (Modern French brûler), earlier brusler "to burn" (11c.), which, with Italian bruciare, is of uncertain and much-disputed origin.

Perhaps from Vulgar Latin *brodum "broth," borrowed from Germanic and ultimately related to brew (v.). Gamillscheg proposes it to be from Latin ustulare "to scorch, singe" (from ustus, past participle of urere "to burn") and altered by influence of Germanic "burn" words beginning in br-. Related: Broiled; broiling.


early 15c., "to quarrel, brawl," also "mix up, present in disorder," from Anglo-French broiller "mix up, confuse," Old French brooillier "to mix, mingle," figuratively "to have sexual intercourse" (13c., Modern French brouiller), perhaps from breu, bro "stock, broth, brew," from Frankish or another Germanic source (cf. Old High German brod "broth") akin to broth (see brew (v.)); also compare imbroglio.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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