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verb (used without object), seethed or (Obsolete) sod; seethed or (Obsolete) sod·den or sod; seeth·ing.
  1. to surge or foam as if boiling.
  2. to be in a state of agitation or excitement.
  3. Archaic. to boil.
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verb (used with object), seethed or (Obsolete) sod; seethed or (Obsolete) sod·den or sod; seeth·ing.
  1. to soak or steep.
  2. to cook by boiling or simmering; boil.
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  1. the act of seething.
  2. the state of being agitated or excited.
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Origin of seethe

before 900; Middle English; Old English sēothan; cognate with German sieden, Swedish sjuda
Related formsseeth·ing·ly, adverbun·seethed, adjectiveun·seeth·ing, adjective

Synonym study

2. See boil1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for seethe

fume, smolder, simmer, bristle, flare, boil, foam, froth, rage, burn, flip, stew, storm, ferment, spark

Examples from the Web for seethe

Historical Examples of seethe

  • The great Leviathan that maketh the seas to seethe like boiling pan.

    Moby Dick; or The Whale

    Herman Melville

  • I tried to control myself, but the seethe of rage almost choked me.

    Frenzied Finance

    Thomas W. Lawson

  • It was "Thou shalt not seethe the kid in its mother's milk."

  • And similarly, Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mothers milk.

    Faces in the Fire

    Frank W. Boreham

  • And the crowd, bereft of baccy, soon will almost cease to "seethe."

British Dictionary definitions for seethe


  1. (intr) to boil or to foam as if boiling
  2. (intr) to be in a state of extreme agitation, esp through anger
  3. (tr) to soak in liquid
  4. (tr) archaic to cook or extract the essence of (a food) by boiling
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  1. the act or state of seething
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Word Origin for seethe

Old English sēothan; related to Old Norse sjōtha, Old High German siodan to seethe
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 seethe


Old English seoþan "to boil," also figuratively, "be troubled in mind, brood" (class II strong verb; past tense seaþ, past participle soden), from Proto-Germanic *seuthan (cf. Old Norse sjoða, Old Frisian siatha, Dutch zieden, Old High German siodan, German sieden "to seethe"), from PIE root *seut- "to seethe, boil."

Driven out of its literal meaning by boil (v.); it survives largely in metaphoric extensions. Figurative use, of persons or populations, "to be in a state of inward agitation" is recorded from 1580s (implied in seething). It had wider figurative uses in Old English, e.g. "to try by fire, to afflict with cares." Now conjugated as a weak verb, and past participle sodden (q.v.) is no longer felt as connected.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper