Definition of decoct in English:



  • Extract the essence from (something) by heating or boiling it.

    ‘young red oaken leaves decocted in wine make an excellent gargle for a sore mouth’
    • ‘Characteristically, these herbs are usually dry and contain volatile oils and should not be decocted for more than 15 minutes.’
    • ‘First, decoct the tangerine peel and use the boiling water to infuse the tea.’
    • ‘Oil can be made of these by decocting them first in water.’
    • ‘Extracts were prepared by decocting the dry herb with boiling water for 60 minutes.’
    • ‘One hundred grams of dried roots or flowers of P. ginseng were decocted with water until the volume was reduced by half.’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘cook, heat up’): from Latin decoct- ‘boiled down’, from the verb decoquere, from de- ‘down’ + coquere ‘cook’.