sim·​mer | \ ˈsi-mər How to pronounce simmer (audio) \
simmered; simmering\ ˈsi-​mə-​riŋ How to pronounce simmer (audio) , ˈsim-​riŋ \

Definition of simmer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to stew gently below or just at the boiling point
2a : to be in a state of incipient development : ferment ideas simmering in the back of my mind
b : to be in inward turmoil : seethe

transitive verb

: to cook slowly in a liquid just below the boiling point



Definition of simmer (Entry 2 of 2)

: the state of simmering

Synonyms for simmer

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of simmer in a Sentence

Verb Simmer the stew for 40 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. The chicken was simmered in a cream sauce. The dispute simmered for years before any progress was made. It's a debate that has simmered for 30 years and is likely to continue. Long-simmering tensions between the two groups eventually sparked violence. Noun Bring the mixture to a simmer. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As they are completed, the opposition continues to simmer. Scott Dance, Baltimore Sun, 24 June 2022 The sauce took exactly two minutes to simmer without any scorching. Madison Yauger,, 23 June 2022 Pandemic restrictions have melted away but gun control, the fight for reproductive rights, the Jan. 6 insurrection hearings, who’s to blame for soaring inflation and a range of other issues continue to simmer. Leanne Italie, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 June 2022 Once the liquid begins to simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Southern Kitchen, USA TODAY, 1 June 2022 Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Robin Miller, The Arizona Republic, 27 Apr. 2022 Some of the protesters' family members say regardless of the mass trials and harsh sentences, anti-government resentment will continue to simmer. Patrick Oppmann, CNN, 17 Mar. 2022 Carefully add sofrito mixture into lentil broth and continue to simmer gently for 45 minutes to an hour, thinning with additional vegetable broth as needed, until consistency and flavor are velvety and rich. Abigail Abesamis Demarest, Forbes, 29 Dec. 2021 Add sliced hot dogs and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Washington Post, 4 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Add the balsamic and red wine vinegars and bring to a simmer. G. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 23 June 2022 Bring to a simmer and poach until chicken is just cooked through, 12–14 minutes. Kathleen Squires, WSJ, 16 June 2022 Lower to a simmer and cook about 15 minutes or more. Rita Nader Heikenfeld, The Enquirer, 11 June 2022 Bring water to a boil add couscous, reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 8 June 2022 Bring the broth to a simmer while stirring constantly to prevent any rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Southern Kitchen, USA TODAY, 1 June 2022 Staff hustle around the room, carefully bringing broths to a simmer, delivering ingredients and instructions on how long to cook them. oregonlive, 26 May 2022 Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let the beer reduce until the consistency is like a soft caramel, about 45 minutes. CNN, 8 May 2022 You’ll be compelled to take it home, to toss it with hot, buttered pasta, or to bring it up to a simmer and use it to poach an egg. New York Times, 2 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of simmer


1637, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1758, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for simmer


alteration of English dialect simper, from Middle English simperen, of imitative origin

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Dictionary Entries Near simmer



simmer down

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Statistics for simmer

Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Simmer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for simmer


sim·​mer | \ ˈsi-mər How to pronounce simmer (audio) \
simmered; simmering

Kids Definition of simmer

1 : to cook gently at or just below the boiling point
2 : to be on the point of bursting out with violence or anger

More from Merriam-Webster on simmer

Nglish: Translation of simmer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of simmer for Arabic Speakers


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