boil down to (something)

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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.

it all boils down to

it amounts to or is in essence.
Boiling down a liquid means reducing its volume and concentrating it by evaporation.
1998 Times And why are deals getting more complex? Unsurprisingly it all boils down to profit.
See also: all, boil, down, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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