Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: boillir, from Latin bullire, from bulla 'bubble'


1 verb
boil1 S3
1 [intransitive and transitive]DFCH when a liquid boils, or when you boil it, it becomes hot enough to turn into gas
boil at
The solution boiled at 57.4°C.
Put the spaghetti into plenty of boiling salted water.
We were advised to boil the water before drinking it.
2 [intransitive and transitive]DFC to cook something in boiling water:
a boiled egg
Boil the rice for 15 minutes.
She fried the chicken and put the vegetables on to boil.
3 [intransitive and transitive]DFCH if something containing liquid boils, the liquid inside it is boiling:
The kettle's boiling - shall I turn it off?
The saucepan boiled dry on the stove.
4 [transitive]DHC to wash something, using boiling water:
I always boil the cotton sheets.
5 [intransitive] if you are boiling with anger, you are extremely angry
boil with
Lewis was boiling with rage and misery.
boiling point (2)

; ➔ make somebody's blood boil

at blood1 (4)

boil away

phrasal verb
DFCH if a liquid boils away, it disappears because it has been heated too much:
The soup's almost boiled away.

boil down

phrasal verb

boil down to something

informal if a long statement, argument etc boils down to a single statement, that statement is the main point or cause:
It boils down to a question of priorities.

boil something ↔ down

to make a list or piece of writing shorter by not including anything that is not necessary:
You can boil this down so that there are just two main categories.
3DFC if a food or liquid boils down, or if you boil it down, it becomes less after it is cooked:
Spinach tends to boil down a lot.
boil something ↔ down
glue made from boiling down old sheepskins

boil over

phrasal verb
1DFC if a liquid boils over when it is heated, it rises and flows over the side of the container:
The milk was boiling over on the stove behind her.
2 if a situation or an emotion boils over, the people involved stop being calm:
All the bitterness of the last two years seemed to boil over.
boil over into
Anger eventually boils over into words that are later regretted.

boil up

phrasal verb
1 if a situation or emotion boils up, bad feelings grow until they reach a dangerous level:
She could sense that trouble was boiling up at work.
He could feel the anger boiling up inside him.

boil something ↔ up

to heat food or a liquid until it begins to boil:
Boil the fruit up with sugar.
fry (in oil)
(in hot water)
(bread and cakes in an oven)
(meat or vegetables in an oven)
(using a microwave oven)
/broil American English (using a grill)
, toast, simmer, poach, barbecue, stir-fry, saute, chargrill

raw (not cooked)
(used about meat that has been cooked for a short time)
(used about meat that has been cooked for a long time)

See also

Explore COOKING Topic