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boil - definition and synonyms

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verb     boil pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
present tense
present participleboiling
past tenseboiled
past participleboiled
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] if a liquid boils, or if you boil it, it becomes so hot that there are bubbles in it and it starts to become a gas

    When the water boils, add the rice.

    Boil some milk in a pan.

    put something on to boil (=put liquid in a container and heat it until it boils):

    She put two pans of soup on to boil.

    1. a.
      if a container boils, or if you boil it, the liquid in it boils

      He stood in the kitchen waiting for the pan to boil.

      I’ll just boil the kettle and we can have some tea.

      boil dry (=boil until there is no liquid left):

      The saucepan had boiled dry and the carrots were burnt.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to cook food in water that is boiling

    How long does it take to boil an egg?

    1. a.
      [intransitive] to be cooked in water that is boiling

      The pasta needs to boil for 10 minutes.

      put something on to boil (=start to cook something in hot water):

      Can you put the vegetables on to boil, please?

    2. b.
      [transitive] to wash clothes in water that is boiling
  3. 3
    [intransitive] to feel something such as anger very strongly

    James felt the fury boiling within him.

    boil with rage/anger:

    Boiling with rage, Kate slammed the car door and drove off.

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