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

The Nature of Prejudice, Allport reasoned that bigotry often boils down to a lack of acquaintance. K.n.c., The Economist, "How to increase empathy and unite society," 7 June 2019 During a 2015 conversation with Asaf Shalev of Anchorage Daily News, Aaron Leggett a Dena'ina historian says the efforts all boil down to awareness. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "This Account is Reclaiming the Indigenous Names for Mountains One Geotag at a Time," 22 Feb. 2018 In general, the Civic Center options boil down to the following: (1) Rehabilitate it. John Sharp, AL.com, "Should Mardi Gras be main reason to tear down or fix up Civic Center?," 7 Feb. 2018 But these days, film criticism is often boiled down to a number and fed to an aggregator like Rotten Tomatoes, and that’s what audiences are interested in — not an argument or a piece of writing. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "The real reason we need more diversity in film criticism," 22 June 2018 The sixth-grade race boiled down to a 1-2 finish from the Melillo duo of Ariana Perez and Ayah Palomares. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Fourth GFJ kid earns perfect 4-year campaign," 15 Apr. 2018 If that just whets your appetite for more, the studio also did a boiled down version of the original Star Wars Episode IV as well of a slew of other popular and classic films. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Watch All of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' Boiled Down Into a One Minute Animation," 29 Jan. 2016 The factual allegations against Mr. Assange boil down to encouraging a source to provide him information and taking efforts to protect the identity of that source. Aruna Viswanatha, WSJ, "WikiLeaks Founder Arrested, Charged With Computer-Hacking Conspiracy," 11 Apr. 2019 The Drunken Philosophy group has one solid, blunt rule, which boils down to: Don’t be a jerk. Christy Karras, The Seattle Times, "Pick a table, pick a topic, pick a cocktail — it’s time to pick people’s minds, civilly, at Drunken Philosophy," 29 Mar. 2019

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

Statistics for boil down

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for boil down

The first known use of boil down was in 1723

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on boil down

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!