Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To be cooked gently or remain just at or below the boiling point.
  • intransitive verb To be filled with pent-up emotion.
  • intransitive verb To be in a state of mild agitation or turmoil.
  • intransitive verb To develop in a slow or unexcited way: synonym: boil.
  • intransitive verb To cook (food) gently in a liquid just at or below the boiling point.
  • intransitive verb To keep (a liquid) near or just below the boiling point.
  • noun The state or process of simmering.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A Scotch form of summer.
  • noun A gentle, gradual, uniform heating: said especially of liquids.
  • To make a gentle murmuring or hissing sound, under the action of heat, as liquids when beginning to boil; hence, to become heated gradually: said especially of liquids which are to be kept, while heating, just below the boiling-point.
  • Figuratively, to be on the point of boiling or breaking forth, as suppressed anger.
  • To cause to simmer; heat gradually: said especially of liquids kept just below the boiling-point.

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

  • transitive verb To cause to boil gently; to cook in liquid heated almost or just to the boiling point.
  • intransitive verb To boil gently, or with a gentle hissing; to begin to boil.

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

  • noun The state or process of simmering.
  • verb intransitive To cook or undergo heating slowly at or below the boiling point.
  • verb transitive To cause to cook or to cause to undergo heating slowly at or below the boiling point.

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

  • verb boil slowly at low temperature
  • noun temperature just below the boiling point

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of Middle English simpren, to simmer, probably of imitative origin.]

Examples

Comments

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  • Scots - summer.

    As on the banks o' wandering Nith,

    Ae smiling simmer morn I stray'd,

    And traced its bonie howes and haughs,

    Where linties sang and lammies play'd,

    I sat me down upon a craig,

    And drank my fill o' fancy's dream,

    When from the eddying deep below,

    Up rose the genius of the stream.

    - Robert Burns, 'Verses On The Destruction Of The Woods Near Drumlanrig'.

    January 28, 2009