boil down

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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 Ten gallons of starchy cane juice will boil down into about a gallon of syrup. New York Times, "Reviving a Crop and an African-American Culture, Stalk by Stalk," 8 Dec. 2020 The objections generally boil down to high taxes and intrusive regulations. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: California isn’t ‘hemorrhaging’ people, but there are reasons for concern," 24 Dec. 2020 Airlines say international passengers typically boil down to dual citizens and legal residents, government officials, health-care officials and family members flying to see dying relatives or attend weddings or other gatherings. Scott Mccartney, WSJ, "The Rise of the Giant, Empty International Flight," 9 Dec. 2020 And as with every other issue in Washington, the reasons why boil down to politics. Kate Cox, Ars Technica, "Cases against Facebook are reportedly coming… when FTC decides how," 30 Nov. 2020 But that would, in essence, boil down Kanaan’s exit to a one-and-done flash in the pan, even in the midst of a weeks-long festivity like the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Pandemic, Jimmie Johnson helped pave the way for Tony Kanaan's IndyCar swan song," 24 Nov. 2020 The argument the ride-share companies made about work seems to boil down to their claim that their business model isn't a service with employees but a provider of a technology platform. Star Tribune, "You are on your own financially in America, voters said once again," 7 Nov. 2020 The running back competition in fall camp is expected to boil down to junior Devin Brumfield and sophomore Jordan Wilmore. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Whichever Utah running back replaces Zack Moss will have his hands full. Who’s up next for the Utes?," 21 Oct. 2020 The 16th-year head coach did not say who the two would be, but it has long been assumed the competition would boil down to Bentley and redshirt sophomore Cameron Rising. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Jake Bentley’s captaincy doesn’t make him Utah’s starting QB, but it signifies the respect of his teammates," 18 Oct. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of boil down

1723, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about boil down

Time Traveler for boil down

Time Traveler

The first known use of boil down was in 1723

See more words from the same year

Statistics for boil down

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Boil down.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/boil%20down. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!