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boil (something) away
To boil a liquid for so long that it evaporates. If you don't put the pasta in the pot soon, you will boil all of the water away.
1. Literally, to reduce the amount of a liquid in a container through boiling. A noun can be used between "boil" and "down" or after "down." You'll get a better, more condensed flavor when you boil down the stock. The sauce will thicken when you boil it down.
2. 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.
boil (something) out of (something)
To use boiling water to clean a substance (such as a stain) from an item. Do you know if can you boil grass stains out of cotton?
1. Literally, of a liquid, to boil so vigorously that it flows out of its container. If you put too much water in the pot, it might boil over.
2. To become extremely intense or out of control, especially after a period or escalation. Usually said of emotions. Things had been tense between my aunts for months, and those feelings finally boiled over in a yelling match on our family vacation. This protest is in danger of reaching a point where it boils over into a violent confrontation.
1. To prepare food in boiling water. A noun can be used between "boil" and "up" or after "up." I'm just boiling up some pasta for dinner—it will be ready soon.
2. To increase in strength and intensity. Things had been tense between my aunts for a while, but those feelings really boiled up when they were forced to be together for days on our family vacation.
boil with (an emotion)
To express or feel an emotion, typically anger, very intensely. Things are often tense between my mom and my aunt, so when they had to spend days together on our family vacation, they were soon boiling with anger. When I saw that someone had backed into my new car, I immediately boiled with rage.
See also: boil
1. Literally, having reached a solid state through boiling, as of eggs. Mom is making hard-boiled eggs for breakfast.
2. Tough and dispassionate; hardened by experience. My brother, the hard-boiled police officer, becomes a gushing fool if you ask him about his baby daughter.
boil the ocean
To engage in futile tasks. Oh, Ted's still boiling the ocean trying to find and reassemble that document from the shredded bin.
[for a liquid] to overflow while being boiled. (See also boil over (with something).) The sauce boiled over and dripped onto the stove. Don't let the stew boil over!
boil over (with something)
Fig. [for someone] to erupt in great anger. The boss boiled over with anger. Things got out of hand and the crowd's passions boiled over.
boil something down
1. Lit. to condense or thicken something, such as a liquid. I have to boil this gravy down for a while before I can serve it. You boil down the sauce and I'll set the table.
2. Fig. to reduce a problem to its simple essentials. If we could boil this problem down to its essentials, we might be able to solve it. We don't have time to boil down this matter. This is too urgent.
boil something up
Rur. to cook a batch of food by boiling. She boiled some beans up for dinner. She boiled up some potatoes.
1. Simplify, summarize, or shorten, as in John finally managed to boil his thesis down to 200 pages.
2. boil down to. Be reducible to basic elements, be equivalent to. For example, What this issue boils down to is that the council doesn't want to spend more money. These metaphoric usages allude to reducing and concentrating a substance by boiling off liquid. [Late 1800s]
Erupt in anger, excitement, or other strong emotion. For example, The mere mention of a tax increase will make Kevin boil over. This phrase alludes to overflowing while boiling. [Second half of 1800s]
1. To make an amount of liquid or food less in quantity or more concentrated by boiling it: You can boil down the leftover juices and make a nice sauce. The soup seemed thin, so I boiled it down.
2. To condense something to its bare essentials; summarize: I boiled down my long report into a short two-page report. This plan is too long for me to read; can you boil it down for me?
3. To have something as a basic or root cause: All of the complaints at work boil down to a lack of good leadership.
1. To rise and flow over the sides of a container while boiling. Used of a liquid: I turned up the heat too high and the soup boiled over.
2. To erupt in violent anger: When I realized I had been robbed, I boiled over and started yelling.
1. To prepare some food by boiling it: I boiled up some lobster for supper. Let's boil the potatoes up and fry them with ham.
2. To grow rapidly and steadily; escalate: Hostilities have been boiling up all over that part of the world.
boil the ocean
tv. to waste one’s time attempting to do the impossible. (see also plowing water.) You’re wasting my time. You might as well be boiling the ocean.
1. mod. angry. Now, don’t get boiled. It was only a joke.
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. How can you get so boiled on wine?