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From Latin decoquō (I boil down), from de- + coquō (I cook).



decoct (third-person singular simple present decocts, present participle decocting, simple past and past participle decocted)

  1. (cooking) To make an infusion.
  2. (cooking) To reduce, or concentrate by boiling down.
    • 1831, L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter IV, in Romance and Reality. [], volume II, London: Henry Colburn and Richard Bentley, [], →OCLC, page 54:
      Her ambition had hitherto been confined to being the best of wives,—so she scolded the servants—opened no book but her book of receipts—made soup without meat—decocted cowslips, parsneps, currants, and gooseberries, which, if not good wine, were very tolerable vinegar
  3. (figurative) To heat as if by boiling.
  4. (figurative) To reduce or diminish.
    • 1426 [c. 1330], Guillaume de Deguileville, translated by John Lydgate, edited by F. J. Furnivall, The Pilgrimage of the Life of Man, K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & co., translation of Le pèlerinage de la vie humaine (in Middle French), published 1904, page 655:
      [] and that rednesse / may neuere tournë to whiteness / (as clerkës sayn,) but yef so be / it be decoct by charyte, []
      [] and that redness / may never turn to whiteness / (as clerics say), but if it does, / it will be decocted by Charity, []
  5. To digest in the stomach.
    • a. 1626, Sir John Davies, The Original, Nature, and Immortality of the Soul, R. & A. Foulis, published 1759, page 46:
      Here ſhe [the body] attracts, and there ſhe doth retain; / There ſhe decocts, and doth the food prepare; / There ſhe diſtributes it to ev’ry vein, / There ſhe expels what ſhe may fitly ſpare.
  6. (transitive) To devise.

Related terms[edit]