par·​boil ˈpär-ˌbȯi(-ə)l How to pronounce parboil (audio)
parboiled; parboiling; parboils

transitive verb

: to boil briefly as a preliminary or incomplete cooking procedure

Examples of parboil in a Sentence

Parboil the potatoes before you roast them.
Recent Examples on the Web The veggies are parboiled until bright green and tender-crisp. Southern Living Editors, Southern Living, 22 Feb. 2024 The mottled beans that are parboiled and salted, the toxic pokeweed cooked into tasty greens, the dumplings wrapped in hickory leaves and tied with stalks of rush — these, like the milkies, are meant to be shared. Jacey Fortin Mike Belleme, New York Times, 21 Oct. 2023 Among the innovations in the bridges was a stroke of pasta genius first tried out by Williams in his basement lab: parboiling spaghetti strands before attaching them to the bridge. Jeffrey Kluger, Discover Magazine, 11 Nov. 2019 Ralph Stayer, retired CEO of Johnsonville, said his brat grilling method skips parboiling in favor of enjoying a cocktail while grilling the brats. Daniel Higgins, USA TODAY, 25 May 2020 Fresh potatoes can be frozen if soaked in cold water (with a little lemon juice or vinegar) and then blanched/parboiled. Mary Bergin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 22 May 2020 Industrially produced frozen versions, tricks like doctoring parboiled rice with coloring additives in place of saffron, and nontraditional ingredients like lobster and chorizo are a common, dispiriting sight. Jeff Koehler, Saveur, 20 July 2017 Weiss Lake, like all waters of Alabama at present, is hot enough to parboil any fish brave enough to prowl the shallows, with average water temperatures in the high 80's and even the 90's in shallow, dark-bottomed backwaters. Frank Sargeant,, 28 July 2017 Or grill zucchini and parboiled potatoes for the salad with burrata. Sacbee,, 20 June 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'parboil.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from parboilen to boil thoroughly, from Anglo-French parboiler, perboillir, from Late Latin perbullire, from Latin per- thoroughly (from per through) + bullire to boil, from bulla bubble — more at for

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of parboil was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near parboil

Cite this Entry

“Parboil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


par·​boil ˈpär-ˌbȯil How to pronounce parboil (audio)
: to boil briefly usually before cooking in another manner

More from Merriam-Webster on parboil

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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