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boil over

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phrasal verb [intransitive]
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theyboil over
he/she/itboils over
present participleboiling over
past tenseboiled over
past participleboiled over
  1. 1
    if a situation or feeling boils over, people cannot control their anger and start to fight or argue

    Racial tensions in the area were boiling over.

    boil over into:

    The dispute finally boiled over into a series of violent protests.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of boil over
  2. 2
    if a liquid boils over, it rises so much when it boils that it flows over the top of the container that it is in

    There was a hissing sound as the soup boiled over.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of boil over
See also main entry: boil

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