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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English bile, büle (boil, tumor), from Old English bȳl, bȳle (boil, swelling), from Proto-Germanic *būlijō, *būlō (boil). Akin to German Beule (boil, hump), Icelandic beyla (swelling, hump).


boil (plural boils)

  1. A localized accumulation of pus in the skin, resulting from infection.

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Etymology 2[edit]

Middle English boillen, from Old French boillir (French: bouillir) from Latin bullīre, present active infinitive of bulliō (I bubble, boil), from bulla (bubble). Displaced native Middle English sethen "to boil" (from Old English sēoþan "to boil, seethe"), Middle English wellen "to boil, bubble" (from Old English wiellan "to bubble, boil"), Middle English wallen "to well up, boil" (from Old English weallan "to well up, boil"). More at seethe, well.


boil (plural boils)

  1. The point at which fluid begins to change to a vapour.
    Add the noodles when the water comes to the boil.
  2. A dish of boiled food, especially based on seafood.
  3. (rare, nonstandard) The collective noun for a group of hawks.
Derived terms[edit]
Terms derived from boil (noun)


boil (third-person singular simple present boils, present participle boiling, simple past and past participle boiled)

  1. (transitive) To heat (a liquid) to the point where it begins to turn into a gas.
    Boil some water in a pan.
  2. (transitive, intransitive) To cook in boiling water.
    Boil the eggs for two minutes.
    Is the rice boiling yet?
  3. (intransitive) Of a liquid, to begin to turn into a gas, seethe.
    Pure water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.
  4. (intransitive, informal, used only in progressive tenses) Said of weather being uncomfortably hot.
    It’s boiling outside!
  5. (intransitive, informal, used only in progressive tenses) To feel uncomfortably hot. See also seethe.
    I’m boiling in here – could you open the window?
  6. To form, or separate, by boiling or evaporation.
    to boil sugar or salt
  7. (obsolete) To steep or soak in warm water.
    • Francis Bacon
      To try whether seeds be old or new, the sense cannot inform; but if you boil them in water, the new seeds will sprout sooner.
  8. To be agitated like boiling water; to bubble; to effervesce.
    the boiling waves of the sea
    • Bible, Job xii. 31
      He maketh the deep to boil like a pot.
  9. To be moved or excited with passion; to be hot or fervid.
    His blood boils with anger.
    • Surrey
      Then boiled my breast with flame and burning wrath.
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Terms derived from boil (verb)
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