boil down

boiled down; boiling down; boils down

Definition of boil down

transitive verb

1 : to reduce in bulk by boiling
2 : condense, summarize boil down a report

intransitive verb

1 : to undergo reduction in bulk by boiling
2a : to be equivalent in summary : amount his speech boiled down to a plea for more money
b : to reduce ultimately your choices boil down to three

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Examples of boil down in a Sentence

the discussion of the problem can be boiled down to a couple of critical points

Recent Examples on the Web

The polar vortex is bringing frigid temperatures to the Midwest this week, but the reason behind the phenomenon, in part, boils down to heat. Brianna Abbott, WSJ, "Blame a Sudden Heat Spike for the Arctic Temperatures in the Midwest," 30 Jan. 2019 China’s entire nuclear philosophy boils down to this: The country may very well be destroyed by a surprise nuclear attack, but enough Chinese nuclear weapons will survive to make the attack simply not worth it. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Does America Still Need the Nuclear Triad?," 23 Jan. 2019 Their stated reasons boiled down to this: FIFA, the sport’s world governing body. Cameron Smith,, "Should we let Robert Kraft bring the 2026 FIFA World Cup to Boston?," 5 June 2018 The difference between urgent and emergency care boils down to what constitutes a medical emergency. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "When to Go to Urgent Care Vs. the ER," 16 Feb. 2019 The legal challenge boils down to a state's right to restrict cooperation with the federal government. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "Round 1: California and Trump clash in court over 'sanctuary state' law," 20 June 2018 The issue partly boils down to the way researchers analyze their results. Jessica Wapner, SELF, "How Worried Do You Really Need to Be About Your Screen Time?," 7 Feb. 2019 The news release boiled down to nothing more than a reassurance that things aren’t going to get materially worse over the next 12 months. Laura Forman, WSJ, "Blue Apron’s Bounce May Cause Indigestion," 15 Jan. 2019 Of course, perceived differences in color on guitars could all just boil down to mojo. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "Can Guitar Paint Affect Your Tone?," 31 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'boil down.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of boil down

1723, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for boil down

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for boil down

The first known use of boil down was in 1723

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with boil down

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for boil down

Comments on boil down

What made you want to look up boil down? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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