Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Re: heating it PAST its boiling point. Wikipedia has it stated as heating it TO its boiling point; I would consider Wikipedia to be more generally accepted as correct.
- The ordinary use of the term refers to boiling an entire mass of water, say a litre or a cup in a pot or kettle. In ordinary conditions, the entire mass does not suddenly heat uniformly and all at once become steam (which would be superheating, which can occur in a microwave). Water close to the heat source first sets up an upward convection in the liquid water, then some water at the bottom of the pot becomes steam as it reaches the boiling point. The steam may be heated beyond the boiling point before it buoyantly flows upward. Whether we use "to" or "past" does not do justice to the physics. "To" seems to be the much more common usage and should be what Wiktionary uses. Thanks. DCDuring TALK 15:42, 19 September 2008 (UTC)