If you heat water to 212° Fahrenheit, then expect to see it boil — bubbling as it turns from a liquid to a vapor. It's what a watched pot never seems to do!

If the water is bubbling and roiling, then it's probably boiling. Cooks boil stuff all the time on the stove; geysers and hot springs boil naturally. And if you spill boiled red cabbage on the new white couch, mom's temper might just boil over. So you see boil can be used both literally and figuratively — to depict boiling hot liquids or boiling hot tempers.

Definitions of boil
  1. verb
    come to the boiling point and change from a liquid to vapor
    “Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius”
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    change to ice
    freeze, freeze down, freeze out
    change from a liquid to a solid when cold
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    boil over, overboil
    overflow or cause to overflow while boiling
    type of:
    change state, turn
    undergo a transformation or a change of position or action
  2. verb
    bring to, or maintain at, the boiling point
    boil this liquid until it evaporates”
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    extract the essence of something by boiling it
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  3. verb
    immerse or be immersed in a boiling liquid, often for cooking purposes
    boil potatoes”
    boil wool”
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    boil excessively
    boil slowly at low temperature
    type of:
    undergo a change; become different in essence; losing one's or its original nature
  4. noun
    the temperature at which a liquid boils at sea level
    “they brought the water to a boil
    synonyms: boiling point
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    type of:
    the degree of hotness or coldness of a body or environment (corresponding to its molecular activity)
  5. verb
    be agitated
    synonyms: churn, moil, roil
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    roll, seethe
    boil vigorously
    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  6. verb
    be in an agitated emotional state
    synonyms: seethe
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    bubble over, overflow, spill over
    overflow with a certain feeling
    be in an agitated or excited state
    seethe with deep anger or resentment
    type of:
    have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)
  7. noun
    a painful sore with a hard core filled with pus
    synonyms: furuncle
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    a boil or abscess on the gums
    type of:
    staphylococcal infection
    an infection with staphylococcus bacteria; usually marked by abscess formation
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