verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
- 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
British Dictionary definitions for simmer down (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for simmer down (2 of 2)
Word Origin for simmer
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]