verb (used without object)
- to change from a liquid to a gaseous state, producing bubbles of gas that rise to the surface of the liquid, agitating it as they rise.
- to reach or be brought to the boiling point: When the water boils, add the meat and cabbage.
- to be in an agitated or violent state: The sea boiled in the storm.
- to be deeply stirred or upset.
- to contain, or be contained in, a liquid that boils: The kettle is boiling. The vegetables are boiling.
verb (used with object)
- to cause to boil or to bring to the boiling point: Boil two cups of water.
- to cook (something) in boiling water: to boil eggs.
- to separate (sugar, salt, etc.) from a solution containing it by boiling off the liquid.
- the act or an instance of boiling.
- the state or condition of boiling: He brought a kettle of water to a boil.
- an area of agitated, swirling, bubbling water, as part of a rapids.
- Also called blow. Civil Engineering. an unwanted flow of water and solid matter into an excavation, due to excessive outside water pressure.
- boil down,
- to reduce the quantity of by boiling off liquid.
- to shorten; abridge.
- to be simplifiable or summarizable as; lead to the conclusion that; point: It all boils down to a clear case of murder.
- boil over,
- to overflow while boiling or as if while boiling; burst forth; erupt.
- to be unable to repress anger, excitement, etc.: Any mention of the incident makes her boil over.
- boil off, Textiles.
- to degum (silk).
- to remove (sizing, wax, impurities, or the like) from a fabric by subjecting it to a hot scouring solution.
Also boil out.
- to change or cause to change from a liquid to a vapour so rapidly that bubbles of vapour are formed copiously in the liquidCompare evaporate
- to reach or cause to reach boiling point
- to cook or be cooked by the process of boiling
- (intr) to bubble and be agitated like something boiling; seethethe ocean was boiling
- (intr) to be extremely angry or indignant (esp in the phrase make one’s blood boil)she was boiling at his dishonesty
- (intr) to contain a boiling liquidthe pot is boiling
- the state or action of boiling (esp in the phrases on the boil, off the boil)
- a red painful swelling with a hard pus-filled core caused by bacterial infection of the skin and subcutaneous tissues, esp at a hair follicleTechnical name: furuncle
early 13c., from Old French bolir “boil, bubble up, ferment, gush” (12c., Modern French bouillir), from Latin bullire “to bubble, seethe,” from PIE base *beu- “to swell” (see bull (n.2)). The native word is seethe. Figurative sense of “to agitate the feelings” is from 1640s.
I am impatient, and my blood boyls high. [Thomas Otway, “Alcibiades,” 1675]
Related: Boiled; boiling. Boiling point is recorded from 1773.
“hard tumor,” altered from Middle English bile (Kentish bele), perhaps by association with the verb; from Old English byl, byle “boil, carbuncle,” from West Germanic *buljon- “swelling” (cf. Old Frisian bele, Old High German bulia, German Beule). Perhaps ultimately from PIE root *bhel- (2) “to swell” (see bole), or from *beu- “to grow, swell” (see bull (n.2); also cf. boast). Cf. Old Irish bolach “pustule,” Gothic ufbauljan “to puff up,” Icelandic beyla “hump.”
- A painful, circumscribed pus-filled inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue usually caused by a local staphylococcal infection.furuncle
- To change from a liquid to a gaseous state by being heated to the boiling point and being provided with sufficient energy. Boiling is an example of a phase transition.
In addition to the idioms beginning with boil
- boil down
- boiling point
- boil over
- make one’s blood boil
- watched pot never boils