boil down to

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Related to boil down to: a watched kettle never boils

boil (something) down to (something)

To reduce or simplify (something) to the most basic, essential, or fundamental element(s). Your essay is far too long. Please try to cut out any superfluous text and boil it down to about 10 pages. The issue really boils down to whether customers will be willing to pay more for the same product or not.
See also: boil, down

boil down to something

1. and boil down Lit. [for a liquid] to be condensed to something by boiling. Boil this mixture down to about half of what it was.
2. Fig. [for a complex situation] to be reduced to its essentials. It boils down to the question of who is going to win. It boils down to a very minor matter.
See also: boil, down
References in periodicals archive ?
For 2 cups orange juice--or for blueberries, plums, or peaches (you should have about 2 cups puree)--use 4-1/2 cups sugar, 3 cups water, and 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice; boil down to 5-1/4 cups.
And even if they are too smart for the show, the actors do manage to make the thing a credible satire of achieving the second-generation dream - which seems to boil down to copping good chronic and shilling for third-rate fast food, dude.
And with the Iraq war no longer looking like a winning political issue for Democrats in the 2004 presidential race, political analysts speculated Monday that Dean's popularity with the stars might boil down to a walk-on role.
And De Bernieres' story, which sprawled all over the Adriatic Sea, not to mention World War II and its aftermath, was undoubtedly a bear to boil down to movie narrative form.
The answers we want to shout at the screen in response to every overly analytical argument boil down to ``Straighten up
We have proposed a very simple set of civil service reforms that boil down to pay for performance,'' Wilson said in an interview.