boil down to

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Related to boil down to: a watched kettle never boils
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boil (something) down to (something)

To reduce or simplify something to the most basic, essential, or fundamental element(s). Don't overcomplicate your goals and strategies. Boil them down do the essentials—what you want, and how to get them. Make sure you boil your proposal down to the most basic details of what you want to do. Don't start adding superfluous info, or the boss will lose interest.
See also: boil, down, to

boil down to (something)

1. Literally, to become reduced to some component parts or new type of substance through the evaporation of water due to boiling. The solution will boil down to the solid elements that had been dissolved in the water. Maintain a high heat until the mixture boils down to thick, viscous syrup.
2. By extension, to become reduced or simplified to the most basic, essential, or fundamental element(s). The issue really boils down to whether customers will be willing to pay more for the same product or not. Their complaint boiled down to an accusation of being underpaid for services rendered.
See also: boil, down, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

boil down to, to

To simplify or abridge; to lead to the crux of the matter. This figure of speech transfers the sense of a liquid being reduced and concentrated by the process of boiling to other processes or endeavors. It dates from the late nineteenth century.
See also: boil, down, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
"The only way to control the increased CO2 is to control our consumption of fossil fuels, and that is going to boil down to individual lifestyle choices." CONTACT: University of Michigan Biological Station, (734)763-4461,
The answers boil down to this: Learn to live on 85% of your income.
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."
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.
"There is also a lack of confidence and it can boil down to that, not a lack of match fitness."
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.
I think the other group will boil down to Corinthians and Real Madrid.