- to cook or cook in a liquid at or just below the boiling point.
- to make a gentle murmuring sound, as liquids cooking just below the boiling point.
- to be in a state of subdued or restrained activity, development, excitement, anger, etc.: The town simmered with rumors.
- to keep (liquid) in a state approaching boiling.
- to cook in a liquid that is kept at or just below the boiling point.
- the state or process of simmering.
- simmer down,
- to reduce in volume by simmering.
- Slang.to become calm or quiet, as from a state of anger or turmoil: We waited for the audience to simmer down.
Origin of simmer
- (intr) informal to grow calmer or quieter, as after intense rage or excitement
- (tr) to reduce the volume of (a liquid) by boiling slowly
- to cook (food) gently at or just below the boiling point
- (intr) to be about to break out in rage or excitement
- the act, sound, or state of simmering
Word Origin and History for simmer down
1650s, alteration of simperen "to simmer" (late 15c.), possibly imitative; not thought to be connected to simper (v.). OED says the change is "probably due to a feeling of phonetic appropriateness." Figurative sense, of feelings, "to be agitated" is from 1764. Opposite sense, in simmer down, first recorded 1871, probably from the notion of moving from a full boil to a mere simmer.
I must and will keep shady and quiet till Bret Harte simmers down a little. [Mark Twain, letter, 1871]
Related: Simmered; simmering. The noun meaning "a condition of simmering" is from 1809.
Idioms and Phrases with simmer down
Become calm after anger or excitement, as in Simmer down, Mary; I'm sure he'll make it up to you, or I haven't time to look at your report now, but I will when things have simmered down a bit. This idiom derives from simmer in the sense of “cook at low heat, below the boiling point.” [Second half of 1800s]