from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- transitive v. To cook by direct radiant heat, as over a grill or under an electric element.
- transitive v. To expose to great heat.
- intransitive v. To be exposed to great heat.
- n. The act of broiling or the condition of being broiled.
- n. Food, especially meat, that is broiled.
- n. A rowdy argument; a brawl. See Synonyms at brawl.
- intransitive v. To engage in a rowdy argument.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. To cook by direct, radiant heat.
- v. To expose to great heat.
- v. To be exposed to great heat.
- n. Food prepared by broiling.
- v. to cause a rowdy disturbance; embroil
- v. (obsolete) to brawl
- n. A brawl; a rowdy disturbance.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A tumult; a noisy quarrel; a disturbance; a brawl; contention; discord, either between individuals or in the state.
- intransitive v. To be subjected to the action of heat, as meat over the fire; to be greatly heated, or to be made uncomfortable with heat.
- transitive v. To cook by direct exposure to heat over a fire, esp. upon a gridiron over coals.
- transitive v. To subject to great (commonly direct) heat.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To cook by the direct action of heat over or in front of a clear fire, generally upon a gridiron, as meat or fish.
- To be subjected to the action of heat, as meat over a fire.
- Figuratively, to be greatly heated; be heated to the point of great discomfort.
- To fret; stew; be very impatient.
- To raise a broil; quarrel; brawl.
- n. An angry tumult; a noisy quarrel; contention; discord.
- n. Synonyms Affray, Altercation, etc. See quarrel, n.
- n. In mining, a collection of loose fragments, usually discolored by oxidation, resting on the surface, and indicating the presence of a mineral vein beneath. See outcrop and gossan.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- v. be very hot, due to hot weather or exposure to the sun
- v. heat by a natural force
- n. cooking by direct exposure to radiant heat (as over a fire or under a grill)
- v. cook under a broiler
My sense is that the word broil has gone out of fashion because it's associated with bad home cooking using the oven.
I admit, due to a forced 4:30 pm commute which means, one setting away from 'broil', here in Oz, a lobster like shade now adorns my once goth self.
Turning the oven to its "broil" function starts up a roaring fire close to the broiler.
Only when I sent a letter to the University, copied to the fire marshal, explaining that all was well because I found the room stayed pretty warm if I kept the oven on "broil" 24 hours a day and left the oven door open all the time, did I get any action to fix my heating.
In five years of living and cooking in England, I have never ever found 'broil' used in the sense GrahamT gives.
I can't remember ever seeing the term 'broil' in a British cookery book.
I don't have any very clear idea of what the verb "broil" means.
Anyway, according to this story, all things French were the rage in foodie circles and the sturdy proletarian word "broil" dropped out of use in England.
However, I have never ever heard 'broil' used in the sense GrahamT gives.
Hmm. There was a "broil" setting on the oven knob.