come to a boil

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come to a boil

1. Literally, for something (a liquid) to reach its boiling point. After the water comes to a boil, we will add the pasta.
2. By extension, to become very angry. Watch what you say to him—he tends to come to a boil over criticism of his novel.
3. To reach a crucial point. Tensions between them came to a boil when one found out that the other had been lying. Your problems with Mary will definitely come to a boil if she finds out you're dating her ex!
See also: boil, come
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come to a boil

 
1. Lit. [for a liquid] to reach the boiling point. The soup came to a boil and the chef reduced the flame.
2. Fig. [for a problem or situation] to reach a critical or crucial stage. (Alludes to water reaching an active boil.) Finally, things really came to a boil. Everything came to a boil after Mary announced her engagement.
3. Fig. [for someone] to get very angry. Fred was coming to a boil and clearly he was going to lose his temper.
See also: boil, come
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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