a past participle of melt1.


liquefied by heat; in a state of fusion; melted: molten lead.
produced by melting and casting: a molten image.

Origin of molten

1250–1300; Middle English; old past participle of melt1
Related formsmol·ten·ly, adverbsu·per·mol·ten, adjectiveun·mol·ten, adjective



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

to become liquefied by warmth or heat, as ice, snow, butter, or metal.
to become liquid; dissolve: Let the cough drop melt in your mouth.
to pass, dwindle, or fade gradually (often followed by away): His fortune slowly melted away.
to pass, change, or blend gradually (often followed by into): Night melted into day.
to become softened in feeling by pity, sympathy, love, or the like: The tyrant's heart would not melt.
Obsolete. to be subdued or overwhelmed by sorrow, dismay, etc.

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

to reduce to a liquid state by warmth or heat; fuse: Fire melts ice.
to cause to pass away or fade.
to cause to pass, change, or blend gradually.
to soften in feeling, as a person or the heart.


the act or process of melting; state of being melted.
something that is melted.
a quantity melted at one time.
a sandwich or other dish topped with melted cheese: a tuna melt.

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 molten

glowing, fused, igneous

Examples from the Web for molten

Contemporary Examples of molten

Historical Examples of molten

  • In a moment the cast drops like a breath on the molten silver.

    The Forest

    Stewart Edward White

  • Where it had been was only blackness and the dying glow of molten rock.

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

  • He felt it slipping down into his empty stomach, like a steam of molten lead.

  • These are mixed while in a molten condition, and are then allowed to cool.

  • His black hair, with the sunset full upon it, was like molten bronze.

    The Forbidden Trail

    Honor Willsie

British Dictionary definitions for molten



liquefied; meltedmolten lead
made by having been meltedmolten casts


the past participle of melt


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 molten

late 13c., from archaic past participle of Old English meltian, a class III strong verb (see melt (v.)).



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

molten 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 molten


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.