verb (used without object), melt·ed, melt·ed or mol·ten, melt·ing.

verb (used with object), melt·ed, melt·ed or mol·ten, melt·ing.


Origin of melt

before 900; Middle English melten, Old English meltan (intransitive), m(i)elten (transitive) to melt, digest; cognate with Old Norse melta to digest, Greek méldein to melt
Related formsmelt·a·ble, adjectivemelt·a·bil·i·ty, nounmelt·ing·ly, adverbmelt·ing·ness, nounnon·melt·a·ble, adjectivenon·melt·ing, adjectiveun·melt·a·ble, adjectiveun·melt·ed, adjectiveun·melt·ing, adjective
Can be confusedevanescence evaporation liquefaction melting thawing transpiration vaporization

Synonyms for melt

1. Melt, dissolve, fuse, thaw imply reducing a solid substance to a liquid state. To melt is to bring a solid to a liquid condition by the agency of heat: to melt butter. Dissolve, though sometimes used interchangeably with melt, applies to a different process, depending upon the fact that certain solids, placed in certain liquids, distribute their particles throughout the liquids: A greater number of solids can be dissolved in water and in alcohol than in any other liquids. To fuse is to subject a solid (usually a metal) to a very high temperature; it applies especially to melting or blending metals together: Bell metal is made by fusing copper and tin. To thaw is to restore a frozen substance to its normal (liquid, semiliquid, or more soft and pliable) state by raising its temperature above the freezing point: Sunshine will thaw ice in a lake. 4. dwindle. 10. gentle, mollify, relax. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for melting

reducing, thawed, liquescent

Examples from the Web for melting

Contemporary Examples of melting

Historical Examples of melting

  • Gypsy showed signs of melting, whinnying softly and forgivingly.

  • The sun was now well up in the sky, and the snow was melting.

    In the Valley

    Harold Frederic

  • For many months of the year the only water they have is obtained by melting snow or ice.

  • The mist was melting into a yellowish drizzle, befouling the muddy streets.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • The heat was melting the snow on her hair and clothes, and she was dripping.


    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for melting


verb melts, melting, melted, melted or molten (ˈməʊltən)

to liquefy (a solid) or (of a solid) to become liquefied, as a result of the action of heat
to become or make liquid; dissolvecakes that melt in the mouth
(often foll by away) to disappear; fade
(foll by down) to melt (metal scrap) for reuse
(often foll by into) to blend or cause to blend gradually
to make or become emotional or sentimental; soften


the act or process of melting
something melted or an amount melted
Derived Formsmeltable, adjectivemeltability, nounmelter, nounmeltingly, adverbmeltingness, noun

Word Origin for melt

Old English meltan to digest; related to Old Norse melta to malt (beer), digest, Greek meldein to melt
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 melting



Old English meltan "become liquid, consume by fire, burn up" (class III strong verb; past tense mealt, past participle molten), from Proto-Germanic *meltanan; fused with Old English gemæltan (Anglian), gemyltan (West Saxon) "make liquid," from Proto-Germanic *gamaltijanan (cf. Old Norse melta "to digest"), both from PIE *meldh-, (cf. Sanskrit mrduh "soft, mild," Greek meldein "to melt, make liquid," Latin mollis "soft, mild"), from root *mel- "soft," with derivatives referring to soft or softened (especially ground) materials (see mild). Figurative use by c.1200. Related: Melted; melting.

Of food, to melt in (one's) mouth is from 1690s. Melting pot is from 1540s; figurative use from 1855; popularized with reference to America by play "The Melting Pot" by Israel Zangwill (1908).



1854, "molten metal," from melt (v.). In reference to a type of sandwich topped by melted cheese, 1980, American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

melting in Science



To change from a solid to a liquid state by heating or being heated with sufficient energy at the melting point. See also heat of fusion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with melting


In addition to the idiom beginning with melt

  • melt in one's mouth

also see:

  • butter wouldn't melt
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.