WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
boil1 /bɔɪl/USA pronunciation   v. 
  1. Physicsto (cause to) change from a liquid to a gas as a result of heat: [no object][When the water boils, turn off the heat.][+ object]Boil some water for tea.
  2. to cook (something) in boiling water: [no object]The eggs boiled for three minutes.[+ object]Boil the eggs for three minutes.
  3. [no object] to contain or hold a liquid that boils: The kettle is boiling (= The kettle contains water that is boiling).
  4. to be in an agitated state:[no object]The sea boiled in the storm.
  5. to be deeply upset:[no object]boiling with anger.
  6. boil down, [+ down +[object] ]
    • to reduce or lessen by boiling:Boil down the liquid to about half.
    • to shorten;
      abridge;
      condense:Boil down all that research into a summary.
  7. boil down to, [+ down + to + object] to amount to:His statement boils down to a failure to support you.
  8. boil over, [no object]
    • to overflow while or as if while boiling:That pot is boiling over.
    • to be unable to hold back anger, excitement, etc.:felt all her anger boiling over.

n. [countable;  singular]
  1. the act or state of boiling: Bring the water to a boil.

boil2 /bɔɪl/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]
  1. a painful swelling on the skin having pus inside, usually caused by an infection.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
boil1  (boil),USA pronunciation v.i. 
  1. Physicsto 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.
  2. to reach or be brought to the boiling point:When the water boils, add the meat and cabbage.
  3. to be in an agitated or violent state:The sea boiled in the storm.
  4. to be deeply stirred or upset.
  5. to contain, or be contained in, a liquid that boils:The kettle is boiling. The vegetables are boiling.

v.t. 
  1. to cause to boil or to bring to the boiling point:Boil two cups of water.
  2. to cook (something) in boiling water:to boil eggs.
  3. to separate (sugar, salt, etc.) from a solution containing it by boiling off the liquid.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.

n. 
  1. the act or an instance of boiling.
  2. the state or condition of boiling:He brought a kettle of water to a boil.
  3. an area of agitated, swirling, bubbling water, as part of a rapids.
  4. Civil EngineeringAlso called  blow. an unwanted flow of water and solid matter into an excavation, due to excessive outside water pressure.
  • Latin bullīre to bubble, effervesce, boil, verb, verbal derivative of bulla bubble
  • Anglo-French, Old French boillir
  • Middle English boillen 1250–1300
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged foam, churn, froth.
    • 4.See corresponding entry in Unabridged rage.
      Boil, seethe, simmer, stew are used figuratively to refer to agitated states of emotion. To
      boil suggests the state of being very hot with anger or rage:Rage made his blood boil.To
      seethe is to be deeply stirred, violently agitated, or greatly excited:A mind seething with conflicting ideas.To
      simmer means to be on the point of bursting out or boiling over:to simmer with curiosity, with anger.To
      stew is to worry, to be in a restless state of anxiety and excitement:to stew about(or over) one's troubles.

boil2  (boil),USA pronunciation n. [Pathol.]
  1. Pathologya painful, circumscribed inflammation of the skin or a hair follicle, having a dead, suppurating inner core: usually caused by a staphylococcal infection. Also called  furuncle. 
  • bef. 1000; Middle English bile, bule, Old English bȳle; cognate with German Beule boil, hump, akin to Old Norse beyla hump, swelling


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

boil down vb (adverb)
  1. to reduce or be reduced in quantity and usually altered in consistency by boiling
  2. boil down to ⇒ (intransitive) to be the essential element in something
  3. (transitive) to summarize; reduce to essentials



'boil down' also found in these entries:
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