verb (used without object), seethed or (Obsolete) sod; seethed or (Obsolete) sod·den or sod; seeth·ing.

verb (used with object), seethed or (Obsolete) sod; seethed or (Obsolete) sod·den or sod; seeth·ing.

to soak or steep.
to cook by boiling or simmering; boil.


the act of seething.
the state of being agitated or excited.

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for seething

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

Examples from the Web for seething

Contemporary Examples of seething

Historical Examples of seething

  • He was stung by some old recollection, and had marched off, seething with fury.

  • "The whole town is seething with indignation," he called to me.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • And on that horizon are the gilded domes and smoking chimneys of the seething city.

    The Book of Khalid

    Ameen Rihani

  • Who would think, to look on a scene like this, that the city is seething with dissatisfaction?

  • Under a more or less calm exterior he was a seething cauldron of passion.

    The Snare

    Rafael Sabatini

British Dictionary definitions for seething



boiling or foaming as if boiling
crowded and full of restless activity
in a state of extreme agitation, esp through anger
Derived Formsseethingly, adverb



(intr) to boil or to foam as if boiling
(intr) to be in a state of extreme agitation, esp through anger
(tr) to soak in liquid
(tr) archaic to cook or extract the essence of (a food) by boiling


the act or state of seething

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 seething



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper