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boil1

[boil]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to change from a liquid to a gaseous state, producing bubbles of gas that rise to the surface of the liquid, agitating it as they rise.
  2. to reach or be brought to the boiling point: When the water boils, add the meat and cabbage.
  3. to be in an agitated or violent state: The sea boiled in the storm.
  4. to be deeply stirred or upset.
  5. to contain, or be contained in, a liquid that boils: The kettle is boiling. The vegetables are boiling.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause to boil or to bring to the boiling point: Boil two cups of water.
  2. to cook (something) in boiling water: to boil eggs.
  3. to separate (sugar, salt, etc.) from a solution containing it by boiling off the liquid.
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noun
  1. the act or an instance of boiling.
  2. the state or condition of boiling: He brought a kettle of water to a boil.
  3. an area of agitated, swirling, bubbling water, as part of a rapids.
  4. Also called blow. Civil Engineering. an unwanted flow of water and solid matter into an excavation, due to excessive outside water pressure.
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Verb Phrases
  1. boil down,
    1. to reduce the quantity of by boiling off liquid.
    2. to shorten; abridge.
    3. to be simplifiable or summarizable as; lead to the conclusion that; point: It all boils down to a clear case of murder.
  2. boil over,
    1. to overflow while boiling or as if while boiling; burst forth; erupt.
    2. to be unable to repress anger, excitement, etc.: Any mention of the incident makes her boil over.
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Idioms
  1. boil off, Textiles.
    1. to degum (silk).
    2. to remove (sizing, wax, impurities, or the like) from a fabric by subjecting it to a hot scouring solution.
    Also boil out.
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Origin of boil1

1250–1300; Middle English boillen < Anglo-French, Old French boillir < Latin bullīre to bubble, effervesce, boil, verbal derivative of bulla bubble

Synonyms

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3. foam, churn, froth. 4. rage.

Synonym study

4. Boil, seethe, simmer, stew are used figuratively to refer to agitated states of emotion. To boil suggests the state of being very hot with anger or rage: Rage made his blood boil. To seethe is to be deeply stirred, violently agitated, or greatly excited: A mind seething with conflicting ideas. To simmer means to be on the point of bursting out or boiling over: to simmer with curiosity, with anger. To stew is to worry, to be in a restless state of anxiety and excitement: to stew about ( or over ) one's troubles.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

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British Dictionary definitions for boil down

boil down

verb (adverb)
  1. to reduce or be reduced in quantity and usually altered in consistency by boilingto boil a liquid down to a thick glue
  2. boil down to
    1. (intr)to be the essential element in something
    2. (tr)to summarize; reduce to essentials
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boil1

verb
  1. to change or cause to change from a liquid to a vapour so rapidly that bubbles of vapour are formed copiously in the liquidCompare evaporate
  2. to reach or cause to reach boiling point
  3. to cook or be cooked by the process of boiling
  4. (intr) to bubble and be agitated like something boiling; seethethe ocean was boiling
  5. (intr) to be extremely angry or indignant (esp in the phrase make one's blood boil)she was boiling at his dishonesty
  6. (intr) to contain a boiling liquidthe pot is boiling
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noun
  1. the state or action of boiling (esp in the phrases on the boil, off the boil)
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Derived Formsboilable, adjective

Word Origin

C13: from Old French boillir, from Latin bullīre to bubble, from bulla a bubble

boil2

noun
  1. a red painful swelling with a hard pus-filled core caused by bacterial infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissues, esp at a hair follicleTechnical name: furuncle
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Word Origin

Old English bӯle; related to Old Norse beyla swelling, Old High German būlla bladder, Gothic ufbauljan to inflate
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 boil down

boil

v.

early 13c., from Old French bolir "boil, bubble up, ferment, gush" (12c., Modern French bouillir), from Latin bullire "to bubble, seethe," from PIE base *beu- "to swell" (see bull (n.2)). The native word is seethe. Figurative sense of "to agitate the feelings" is from 1640s.

I am impatient, and my blood boyls high. [Thomas Otway, "Alcibiades," 1675]

Related: Boiled; boiling. Boiling point is recorded from 1773.

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boil

n.

"hard tumor," altered from Middle English bile (Kentish bele), perhaps by association with the verb; from Old English byl, byle "boil, carbuncle," from West Germanic *buljon- "swelling" (cf. Old Frisian bele, Old High German bulia, German Beule). Perhaps ultimately from PIE root *bhel- (2) "to swell" (see bole), or from *beu- "to grow, swell" (see bull (n.2); also cf. boast). Cf. Old Irish bolach "pustule," Gothic ufbauljan "to puff up," Icelandic beyla "hump."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

boil down in Medicine

boil

(boil)
n.
  1. A painful, circumscribed pus-filled inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue usually caused by a local staphylococcal infection.furuncle
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

boil down in Science

boil

[boil]
  1. To change from a liquid to a gaseous state by being heated to the boiling point and being provided with sufficient energy. Boiling is an example of a phase transition.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with boil down

boil down

1

Simplify, summarize, or shorten, as in John finally managed to boil his thesis down to 200 pages.

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2

boil down to. Be reducible to basic elements, be equivalent to. For example, What this issue boils down to is that the council doesn't want to spend more money. These metaphoric usages allude to reducing and concentrating a substance by boiling off liquid. [Late 1800s]

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boil

In addition to the idioms beginning with boil

  • boil down
  • boiling point
  • boil over

also see:

  • make one's blood boil
  • watched pot never boils
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.