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


Middle English broilen, from Old French brusler, bruler, perhaps from usler, to burn (with br- from bruir, to burn), from Latin ustulāre, to scorch, from ustus, past participle of ūrere, to burn.
From obsolete broil, to brawl, from Middle English broilen, from Anglo-Norman broiller, to mix up, confuse, from Old French brouiller, from breu, broth, brew, from Vulgar Latin *brodum, of Germanic origin; see bhreu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English broillen, brulen ("to broil, cook"), from Anglo-Norman bruiller, broiller ("to broil, roast") and Old French brusler, bruller ("to broil, roast, char"), a blend of Old French bruir ("to burn"), of Germanic origin; and Old French usler ("to scorch"), from Latin ustulāre ("to scorch"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English broilen ("to quarrel, present in disorder"), from Anglo-Norman broiller ("to mix up"), from Vulgar Latin *brodiculāre (“to jumble together”) from *brodum (“broth, stew”), from Frankish *brod (“broth”), from Proto-Germanic *bruþan (“broth”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhreue-, *bherw-, *bhrew- (“to heat, boil, brew”). Cognate with Old High German brod ("broth"), Old English broþ ("broth"). More at broth. (Wiktionary)



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  • "SICINIUS: Stop,
    Or all will fall in broil."
    - William Shakespeare, 'The Tragedy of Coriolanus'.

    August 28, 2009