boil down


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.

boil down

1. Literally, to reduce the amount of a liquid in a container through boiling. A noun or pronoun can be used between "boil" and "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. By extension, 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 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.
See also: boil, down

boil down

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]
See also: boil, down

boil down

v.
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.
See also: boil, down
References in periodicals archive ?
In fact, all wealth building strategies boil down to the first principle of DOFE: to save 10% to 15% of your after-tax income.
For strawberries (you should have 2-1/2 to 2-3/4 cup puree), use 6 cups sugar, 4 cups water, and 1-1/2 cups lemon juice; boil down to 7 cups.
Knowing how to conduct policy will boil down to gauging what is appropriate via looking at financial readings, the labor market, and the likes, while always knowing that there are wide bands of uncertainty.
"There is also a lack of confidence and it can boil down to that, not a lack of match fitness."
Now comes the hard work for director Roger Tames, who is heading for the edit suite to boil down a couple of hours of film into 30 minutes, minus adverts.
The first heat could boil down to a battle between Ballymac Bullet, Witches Lark and Slippery Bill for the two qualifying places.
Writing in the 1930s, Aldo Leopold, the environmentalists' icon, said that "conservation will ultimately boil down to rewarding the private landowner who conserves the public interest." President Bush and Secretary Norton understand the wisdom of this statement.
Ignoring this racist rant from an ill-informed moron, his words boil down to one thing.
She contends that the two battles often converge; they boil down to the effort "to push Christ out of our lives, out of our sight, out of our minds, and out of the Mass--just like Cranmer did."