go off the boil

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go off the boil

  1. (Britain, Australia) Cease to boil when heat is no longer applied.
    • 1891: The Farmers' Alliance History and Agricultural Digest, Nelson A. Dunning (ed.)
      All puddings must be boiled in plenty of water, turned frequently, kept closely covered, and never allowed to go off the boil.
    • 1972: The Cuisines of Mexico, Diana Kennedy and Craig Claibourne
      That is the reason for the coin. You will be able to hear it dancing about, and it will tell you if the water goes off the boil or is getting dangerously low.
  2. (idiomatic, Britain, Australia) To lose interest; to pall.
    • 1955: The Big Lie, John Baker White
      As one of the rearguard put it, "We laid up until the Hun had gone off the boil a bit and slipped out the following night."
    • 1987: The Female Form: Women Writers and the Conquest of the Novel, Rosalind Miles
      But John, not surprisingly, has gone off the boil, and feels nothing for Annette so strongly as an intense weariness and desire to be rid of her.
    • 2004: American Gods, Neil Gaiman
      Wednesday to Shadow, "I don't sleep. It's overrated. A bad habit I do my best to avoid - in company, wherever possible, and the young lady may go off the boil if I don't get back to her."
    • 2009: Somewhere Towards the End: A Memoir, Diana Athill
      By then we'd gone off the boil sexually and he was even less keen than I was about 'marriedness', so it was more like friends deciding to share a flat than the setting-up of a ménage.
  3. (idiomatic, Britain, Australia) To become of diminished intensity or urgency.
  4. (idiomatic, Britain, Australia) To become less successful.

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