Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To extract the flavor of by boiling.
  • transitive v. To make concentrated; boil down.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make an infusion
  • v. To reduce, or concentrate by boiling down

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To prepare by boiling; to digest in hot or boiling water; to extract the strength or flavor of by boiling; to make an infusion of.
  • transitive v. To prepare by the heat of the stomach for assimilation; to digest; to concoct.
  • transitive v. To warm, strengthen, or invigorate, as if by boiling.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To prepare by boiling; digest in hot or boiling water; extract the strength or flavor of by boiling.
  • To digest in the stomach.
  • To warm as if by boiling; heat up; excite.
  • To concoct; devise.
  • Cooked; digested.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. steep in hot water
  • v. be cooked until very little liquid is left
  • v. extract the essence of something by boiling it

Etymologies

Middle English decocten, to boil, from Latin dēcoquere, dēcoct-, to boil down or away : dē-, de- + coquere, to boil, to cook; see pekw- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French, from Latin decoquō ("I boil down"), from de- + coquō. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Pao-yü, on one hand, hastened to direct a servant to go and decoct them, and, on the other, he heaved a sigh.

    Hung Lou Meng

  • After 15 minutes, decoct one-third of the mash, bringing it slowly to a boil over 20 to 25 minutes.

    SECRETS FROM THE MASTER BREWERS

  • And to say the truth, remembering that Dr. Swinnerton himself never appeared to triturate or decoct or do anything else with the mysterious herbs, our old friend was inclined to imagine the weighty commendation of their virtues to have been the idly solemn utterance of mental aberration at the hour of death.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 87, January, 1865

  • Take flower-de-luces, stalk, blossom, root, together; then decoct them over a slack fire; and with the liquid bathe your eyes several times a day; you will most certainly be cured of that weakness; but see that you purge first, and then go forward with the lotion.

    LVIII

  • I may decoct an essence in yonder furnace that will transmute the basest metal into gold.

    From Jest to Earnest

  • Dr. Swinnerton himself never appeared to triturate or decoct or do anything else with the mysterious herbs, our old friend was inclined to imagine the weighty commendation of their virtues to have been the idly solemn utterance of mental aberration at the hour of death.

    The Dolliver Romance

  • Mr. Trummer and Ms. Tierney have been trading legal papers since last year over ownership of the cocktail haunt, where bartenders in white lab coats decoct botanical-and-herb-infused elixirs from laboratory beakers.

    NYT > Home Page

  • On the 2d of _June_, being still rather weak, he was ordered decoct.cort. ℥ ii. ter de die; and on the

    An Account of the Foxglove and some of its Medical Uses With Practical Remarks on Dropsy and Other Diseases

  • To take a cathart. powder every 4th morning, continuing the decoct.

    An Account of the Foxglove and some of its Medical Uses With Practical Remarks on Dropsy and Other Diseases

  • Gosling, “to decoct, an that be the word, his pound into a penny and his webs into a thread. —

    Kenilworth

Comments

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  • In addition, decoct means to diminish, consume, waste (OED).

    February 12, 2012

  • decoct it all boils down to essence

    December 29, 2006