boil (something) down to (something)

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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
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 something

COMMON If you say that a situation or problem boils down to something, you mean that this is the most important aspect of it. What they want boils down to just one thing. It is land. His advice boiled down to remembering to `dress casually and stay alert'.
See also: boil, down, something, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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