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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.
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, 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.
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.
1. To remove a liquid through evaporation as a result of boiling. A noun or pronoun can be used between "boil" and off." You'll need to boil the excess water off before the solution can be used.
2. To be removed (from something) through evaporation as a result of boiling. Even though there is cognac in it, the alcohol boils off when the dish is being cooked.
1. To use boiling water to clean or remove something from some material. A noun or pronoun can be used between "boil" and "out." A: "Do you think I'll be able to boil these grass stains out?" B: "Ooh. You might be better off just throwing those pants out, man."
2. To remove or separate something in a liquid by boiling. A noun or pronoun can be used between "boil" and "out." You'll want to boil out the impurities before the water is safe to drink.
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. By extension, to become extremely intense or out of control, especially after a period of 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.
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.
1. To prepare food in boiling water. A noun or pronoun can be used between "boil" and "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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
[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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.