Definition of parboil in English:



  • Partly cook (food) by boiling.

    ‘parboil the vegetables in salted water for about 5 minutes’
    • ‘I parboiled new potatoes and tossed them with apple cider vinegar, olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary from the garden, and then we piled them into a wide cazuela and slid them into the oven to finish.’
    • ‘The world turned to permanent shadows, even while the Louisiana sun parboiled my skin.’
    • ‘In a large saucepan, bring salted water to a boil and parboil lobsters for three minutes.’
    • ‘I parboiled them in plenty of salted water for seven minutes, and then tossed with some oil (a mix of sunflower and rapeseed - wouldn't use olive for this) and a lot of salt.’
    • ‘The fruit should be peeled and parboiled then set aside.’
    • ‘Note: there is no need to parboil meat if not using chicken.’
    • ‘To make it on the stove top, sauté the onion and garlic, parboil the potato and then let everything simmer for as long as possible to let the flavours meld together.’
    • ‘Take some potatoes and parboil them (don't boil them long enough to cook them, just to get them halfway there) with a lemon in the water to give them some flavour.’
    • ‘The neck of this clam is usually parboiled and skinned, with the skins being reserved and ground for chowder.’
    • ‘Fresh leaves and stalks can be added to a mixed green salad, parboiled and served as a vegetable, or stir-fried alone or with other vegetables or meat.’
    • ‘Nigella suggested parboiling the parsnips, so I did that for about five minutes, way ahead of time.’
    • ‘Almost all meals feature plantains (very similar to bananas), which are usually parboiled, sliced, and deep fried.’
    • ‘In Uzbekistan, critics of the government have the choice of being poached or parboiled.’
    • ‘In that case parboil it in water for a minute or two.’
    • ‘When I shone the light on the water, I swore it would parboil any squid that happened along.’


Late Middle English: from Old French parbouillir, from late Latin perbullire boil thoroughly, from Latin per- through, thoroughly (later confused with part) + bullire to boil.