[ sim-er ]
See synonyms for: simmersimmering on

verb (used without object)
  1. to cook or cook in a liquid at or just below the boiling point.

  2. to make a gentle murmuring sound, as liquids cooking just below the boiling point.

  1. to be in a state of subdued or restrained activity, development, excitement, anger, etc.: The town simmered with rumors.

verb (used with object)
  1. to keep (liquid) in a state approaching boiling.

  2. to cook in a liquid that is kept at or just below the boiling point.

  1. the state or process of simmering.

Verb Phrases
  1. 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

First recorded in 1645–55; alteration of earlier simper< ?

synonym study For simmer

3. See boil1.

Other words from simmer

  • sim·mer·ing·ly, adverb
  • re·sim·mer, verb
  • un·sim·mered, adjective
  • un·sim·mer·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use simmer in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for simmer


/ (ˈsɪmə) /

  1. to cook (food) gently at or just below the boiling point

  2. (intr) to be about to break out in rage or excitement

  1. the act, sound, or state of simmering

Origin of simmer

C17: perhaps of imitative origin; compare German summen to hum

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