Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

boil - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

verb boil pronunciation in British English /bɔɪl/
Word Forms
present tense
present participleboiling
past tenseboiled
past participleboiled
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  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?
  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.


a meal served in the evening which consists of foods traditionally eaten at breakfast

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

troll factory

a company that pays its employees to write online comments in favour or against somebody or something posing as ordinary Internet users

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog