Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • intransitive verb To change from a liquid to a vapor by the application of heat.
  • intransitive verb To reach the boiling point.
  • intransitive verb To undergo the action of boiling, especially in being cooked.
  • intransitive verb To be in a state of agitation; seethe.
  • intransitive verb To be stirred up or greatly excited, especially in anger.
  • intransitive verb To vaporize (a liquid) by the application of heat.
  • intransitive verb To heat to the boiling point.
  • intransitive verb To cook or clean by boiling.
  • intransitive verb To separate by evaporation in the process of boiling.
  • noun The condition or act of boiling.
  • noun Lower Southern US A picnic featuring shrimp, crab, or crayfish boiled in large pots with spices, and then shelled and eaten by hand.
  • noun An agitated, swirling, roiling mass of liquid.
  • noun A painful, circumscribed pus-filled inflammation of the skin and subcutaneous tissue usually caused by a local staphylococcal infection.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An inflamed and painful suppurating tumor; a furuncle.
  • noun The state or act of boiling; boiling-point: as, to bring water to a boil.
  • noun That which is boiled; a boiling preparation.
  • noun The period during which the carbon is being burned out of the iron in a puddling-furnace. During this period jets of burning carbonic oxid cover the surface of the bath.
  • To bubble up or be in a state of ebullition, especially through the action of heat, the bubbles of gaseous vapor which have been formed in the lower portion rising to the surface and escaping: said of a liquid, and sometimes of the containing vessel: as, the water boils; the pot boils.
  • To be in an agitated state like that of boiling, through any other cause than heat or diminished pressure; exhibit a swirling or swelling motion; seethe: as, the waves boil.
  • To be agitated by vehement or angry feeling; be hot or excited: as, my blood boils at this injustice.
  • To undergo or be subjected to the action of water or other liquid when at the point of ebullition: as, the meat is now boiling.
  • To put into a state of ebullition; cause to be agitated or to bubble by the application of heat.
  • To collect, form, or separate by the application of heat, as sugar, salt, etc.
  • To subject to the action of heat in a liquid raised to its point of ebullition, so as to produce some specific effect; cook or seethe in a boiling liquid: as, to boil meat, potatoes, etc.; to boil silk, thread, etc.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun colloq. Act or state of boiling.
  • intransitive verb To be agitated, or tumultuously moved, as a liquid by the generation and rising of bubbles of steam (or vapor), or of currents produced by heating it to the boiling point; to be in a state of ebullition.
  • intransitive verb To be agitated like boiling water, by any other cause than heat; to bubble; to effervesce.
  • intransitive verb To pass from a liquid to an aëriform state or vapor when heated.
  • intransitive verb To be moved or excited with passion; to be hot or fervid.
  • intransitive verb To be in boiling water, as in cooking.
  • intransitive verb to vaporize; to evaporate or be evaporated by the action of heat.
  • intransitive verb to run over the top of a vessel, as liquid when thrown into violent agitation by heat or other cause of effervescence; to be excited with ardor or passion so as to lose self-control.
  • transitive verb To heat to the boiling point, or so as to cause ebullition.
  • transitive verb To form, or separate, by boiling or evaporation.
  • transitive verb To subject to the action of heat in a boiling liquid so as to produce some specific effect, as cooking, cleansing, etc..
  • transitive verb obsolete To steep or soak in warm water.
  • transitive verb to reduce in bulk by boiling; as, to boil down sap or sirup.
  • noun A hard, painful, inflamed tumor, which, on suppuration, discharges pus, mixed with blood, and discloses a small fibrous mass of dead tissue, called the core.
  • noun one that suppurates imperfectly, or fails to come to a head.
  • noun (Med.) a peculiar affection of the skin, probably parasitic in origin, prevailing in India (as among the British troops) and especially at Delhi.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A localized accumulation of pus in the skin, resulting from infection.
  • noun The point at which fluid begins to change to a vapour.
  • noun A dish of boiled food, especially based on seafood.

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English boillen, from Old French boillir, from Latin bullīre, from bulla, bubble.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English bile, from Old English bȳle.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English bile, bule ("boil, tumor"), from Old English bȳl, bȳle ("boil, swelling"). Akin to German Beule ("boil, hump"), Icelandic beyla ("swelling, hump").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English boillen, from Old French boillir (French: bouillir) from Latin bullīre, present active infinitive of bulliō ("I bubble, boil"), from bulla ("bubble"). Displaced native Middle English sethen "to boil" (from Old English sēoþan "to boil, seethe"), Middle English wellen "to boil, bubble" (from Old English wiellan "to bubble, boil"), Middle English wallen "to well up, boil" (from Old English weallan "to well up, boil"). More at seethe, well.

Examples

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  • People walking down the beach, seeing the yellow caution tape and the trench watched over by do-gooders in bright Turtle Patrol T-shirts, wandered over to ask questions, and the crowd grew. At night, they’d sit with infrared flashlights, intently staring down, watching for the slightest movement, with their cameras at the ready.

    “It’s actually called a boil,” Kathy told me. “That’s because when the eggs hatch, and the babies claw their way to the surface, the sand churns.”

    ...

    The boys weren’t terribly interested in the turtle boil taking place in back of the house, but I thought they might change their minds if they saw the baby loggerheads. The eggs were the size of Ping-Pong balls, and were supposed to hatch on Monday.

    David Sedaris, “”Father Time,” New Yorker (Dec. 31, 2018)

    December 22, 2019