Main definitions of boil in English

: boil1boil2



  • 1(with reference to a liquid) reach or cause to reach the temperature at which it bubbles and turns to vapor.

    with object ‘we tried to get people to boil their drinking water’
    no object ‘he waited for the water to boil’
    ‘I'll boil up the stock’
    • ‘Water should always be boiled before drinking.’
    • ‘Evidently there was bigger fish to fry and the fryers could hardly wait to boil their oil.’
    • ‘The water should not be used for swimming, drinking, fishing or for stock and boiling the water will not destroy the algae.’
    • ‘Water was boiled in kettles, saucepans and other containers on the top of the stove, and baking done in the oven.’
    • ‘In the old days, before cookers, the stones would be thrown into a water-filled pit or vessel, to boil water for cooking or washing.’
    • ‘If too much liquid remains, reduce it a little by boiling it, then pour it over the pears before leaving them to cool.’
    • ‘The first paddle steamers typically used oil-fired boilers, which provided heat to boil water, which generated steam to power the boat.’
    • ‘Avoid boiling the cream and add the parmesan gradually, otherwise the sauce will curdle.’
    • ‘Contaminated water must be boiled in rural areas.’
    • ‘The little hotplate was an added bonus, keeping the coffee good and hot without ever boiling it.’
    • ‘Health experts have advised all water should be boiled before drinking until the source of the contamination is traced.’
    • ‘The fist thing they do every day is to boil water and cook rice after they wake up early in the morning.’
    • ‘I had to boil up the water in an old kettle with a frayed wire.’
    • ‘That night, we camped out near a pond so we could boil water for food.’
    • ‘Remove the chicken and boil the juices furiously for a minute or two.’
    • ‘At homes, he says water should be boiled until it begins to roll in the vessel.’
    • ‘Now add a cup of double cream and heat without boiling it.’
    • ‘Half an hour later, water had been boiled and poured into a large tub next to the fireplace.’
    • ‘When they are cooked, lift them out and boil the liquid until thick and reduced.’
    • ‘I boiled the water, cooked the noodles and then added the cheese sauce.’
    simmer, bubble, seethe, heat, cook, stew
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (with reference to a kettle, pan, or other container) heat or be heated until the liquid inside starts to boil.
      with object ‘she boiled the kettle and took down a couple of mugs’
      no object ‘the kettle boiled and he filled the teapot’
      • ‘She boiled the kettle again and made a cup of tea with slightly sour milk.’
      • ‘Now add boiling water until the potatoes are covered (if you've forgotten to boil the kettle, cold water works too, but it just takes ages to heat up).’
      • ‘Meanwhile, boil up another pan of water and add a pinch of salt.’
      • ‘Martine didn't own a kettle so a pan of water had to be boiled, I knew that if Helene needed a cup of coffee it was best to let her get on with it.’
      • ‘When the kettle had been boiled and the tea had been made we all went up to Terri's bedroom.’
      • ‘She came to the rescue by boiling up seven kettles of water on her range and arranged for them to be delivered to the school.’
      • ‘This means having to boil up saucepans of water to have a bath.’
      simmer, bubble, seethe, heat, cook, stew
      View synonyms
  • 2(with reference to food) cook or be cooked by immersing in boiling water or stock.

    with object ‘boil the potatoes until well done’
    ‘two boiled eggs’
    no object ‘make the sauce while the lobsters are boiling’
    • ‘Reduce the heat to low and boil the beans for 1 hour or until they burst.’
    • ‘It is the only bread product that is boiled before it is baked.’
    • ‘That evening I filled out my menu card for the next day, requesting just boiled vegetables for lunch.’
    • ‘A tiny old monk, who seemed to have been waiting outside the door, bowed into the room with an enormous bowl of boiled eggs and a jar of wine.’
    • ‘But it wasn't until nearly 300 years later that Arab traders began to boil or roast these precious beans.’
    • ‘Steaming or boiling takes around the same time, and boiled broccoli should be carefully drained to avoid sogginess.’
    • ‘I lowered my eyes, got up from the table, and ran water into the saucepan to boil our morning eggs.’
    • ‘Banana cake is superb, and this one here is unusual in that you boil the bananas first.’
    • ‘Potatoes are served boiled, sautéed, deep-fried, or roasted, and are used in various dishes.’
    • ‘In addition, wherever eggs have been boiled for the recipes above, then they need to be peeled before moving on to the next stage of the recipe.’
    • ‘Do you think there's a whole ward somewhere in the bowels of the building where they spend long hours doing nothing but boiling cabbage?’
    • ‘Pots full of boiled fish and baskets hang from a string where cats could not reach, to be served with rice for the next meal.’
    • ‘The stones heat the water and the meat is boiled.’
    • ‘Fish is boiled or grilled over open fires and eaten by hand.’
    • ‘Instead, they found it was healthier to boil food in water or a light stock.’
    • ‘He would cook us a batch of his prawns, boiling them in fresh water from a nearby stream.’
    • ‘British travellers can fall victim to the disease if they do not boil food and water before consumption.’
    • ‘You prepare black beans very much the same way you would other dried peas, but you've got to soak them for a couple of hours before boiling them.’
    • ‘Chicken and bamboo shoots had been boiled together with green curry, tasting spicy but not fiery.’
    • ‘Even so, they brought out some corn and some boiled bananas to share with us.’
    bring to the boil, simmer, heat
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1with object Wash or sterilize in very hot water.
      • ‘The white washing was boiled in the copper with the fire lit underneath.’
      • ‘If you are not satisfied that this washing powder boils your clothes whiter than any other washing product return the unused portion of the first packet you buy to us and we will send you double its purchase price.’
      • ‘The linen was boiled, scrubbed, rinsed and given a final soak in Robin Blue to drag out the last erg of whiteness before starching.’
      • ‘The first surgical gloves were boiled to achieve sterilization.’
      • ‘In one clinic, all instruments, including those used for surgical operations, were simply boiled in water.’
      • ‘Beryl rounded up all our jumpers and various moth-eaten Fair Isle handknits belonging to Reginald, and boiled them in her washing machine.’
      • ‘Vaccine transfer needles should be boiled in water and allowed to cool before using.’
      • ‘Initially, these gloves were sterilized by boiling and then put on the wearer's wet hands.’
      • ‘You can also sterilise equipment by boiling it in water for at least 10 minutes.’
    2. 2.2historical with object Execute (someone) by subjecting them to the heat of boiling liquid.
      • ‘It is often associated with the act of boiling people as a means of torture.’
      • ‘The country has been accused of a series of grisly human rights abuses, including torture, murder and boiling detainees alive.’
      • ‘He is a brutal dictator who boils his political foes alive.’
      • ‘She was boiled alive in a cauldron of boiling water.’
      • ‘I am going to boil him in hot oil!’
  • 3no object (of the sea or clouds) be turbulent and stormy.

    ‘a huge cliff with the black sea boiling below’
    • ‘On the surface, the water is boiling like a washing machine.’
    • ‘He had never seen anything like it, this barrier of blue and white that boiled and roared and foamed before him, like a thing alive.’
    • ‘But something was stirring in the clouds that obscured the fine blue of the sky, making them boil and seethe.’
    • ‘The sea boils where rocks and ledges running across the sound cause sharp changes in depth.’
    • ‘Outside, the wind was blowing and dark storm clouds were boiling.’
    • ‘As you'll also know, the quake was bad, but the sea didn't boil like last time.’
    • ‘The sea was boiling, it seemed, over an area no bigger than a mini-roundabout.’
    • ‘Black skies boiled and seethed above, clouds dark as pitch surging in an ominous spiral.’
    • ‘It should be dark and overcast, lightning and thunder boiling across the sky, like his insides were doing at that moment.’
    • ‘Just before the whales break the surface, the sea boils vigorously and a perfect circle of clear water opens up above them.’
    • ‘Were the carvers stopped by the great waves boiling out of the sea?’
    • ‘I stood on the front porch watching horizontal sheets of rain sweep up the driveway as the clouds boiled menacingly overhead.’
    • ‘Seas will boil, the earth will tremble, man will be sent scurrying back to the caves.’
    • ‘He nodded up at the dark clouds that were boiling out of the sky overhead.’
    • ‘Clouds boiled in the sky overhead, blocking out the sun and heralding a storm.’
    • ‘Picture a spot where, at the change of tides, the sea boils through a narrow pass, providing experienced divers with a glorious ride past sharks and other marine life.’
    • ‘Her blond hair was being whipped by the wind, behind her black clouds boiled and lightning flashed, or so it seemed to George and the woman.’
    • ‘The sea boiled and on every side ships were stripped of their superstructure by the wave that hit the shoreline a split-second later.’
    • ‘I remembered standing on the very tip of its bow, looking down at the surface water boiling around it.’
    • ‘Down river the water boiled amongst the smooth white rocks.’
    be turbulent, be agitated, froth, foam, churn, seethe, bubble, fizz, effervesce
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 (of a person or strong emotion) be stirred up or inflamed.
      ‘he was boiling with rage’
      • ‘She could feel her anger boiling up, but she fought it every step of the way.’
      • ‘There was no response and worry started to boil up inside her.’
      • ‘Frustration is boiling up, and she is responsible for it and so she is passing the blame.’
      • ‘Lia could feel the anger begin to boil within her chest.’
      • ‘I was boiling with anger and shouted that his behaviour was way out of line.’
      • ‘The rage was boiling up so quickly that I was afraid I'd throw this man out of the kitchen window.’
      • ‘The emotion boiled and died in an instant like milk in a pan.’
      • ‘I am starting to boil up with anger, and so I try with all my might to get free of the ropes.’
      • ‘Her eyes tore away, agitation suddenly boiling up in her facial expression.’
      • ‘There are times when the interaction that we have with patients can really make us bite our tongues and count to a hundred while we boil up inside.’
      • ‘A tinge of anger began to boil, but she diverted her gaze away from the soldiers to calm herself.’
      • ‘He felt all of his anger of the past weeks boil up.’
      • ‘My brain was beginning to boil as I panicked, glancing around and finding no place to run.’
      • ‘I watched the pale brown stain seeping into the wallpaper, and I began to boil.’
      • ‘He stuck at it with a grim determination, though inside he was boiling with frustration.’
      • ‘He begins to boil, his anger lashing out more than ever before.’
      • ‘As my husband continued his confession to me, I felt a volcano of emotions beginning to boil up.’
      • ‘I responded evenly, despite the fact that I was beginning to boil with anger at the thought.’
      • ‘She felt a rage boiling up inside her and she clenched her fists.’
      • ‘I was still boiling with jealousy, but I knew I shouldn't have said what I'd said to Adrian.’
      be angry, be furious, be indignant, rage, fume, seethe, smoulder
      View synonyms


  • 1in singular The temperature at which a liquid bubbles and turns to vapor.

    ‘stir in cream and bring to a boil’
    • ‘Bring slowly to the boil, skimming off the froth that rises to the surface.’
    • ‘Bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes or until the veggies are tender and the sauce thickened.’
    • ‘Bring to the boil, then turn down and simmer half-covered for 20-25 minutes.’
    • ‘Put the sweet potatoes in a large saucepan, cover them with water and bring to a boil.’
    • ‘Cover with the lid and lower the heat setting to maintain a gentle boil.’
    • ‘Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for three hours.’
    • ‘Bring to a boil, and stir all the time until it's thickened.’
    • ‘Combine the milk, butter and vanilla in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil.’
    • ‘Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the pineapple is tender.’
    • ‘Stir in the cumin, ginger, and coconut milk and bring to a boil.’
    • ‘Then bring the fish stock to the boil in a pan and keep at a low simmer.’
    • ‘Heat the milk and water together with the garlic clove and the bay leaf, then bring to the boil and add the fish.’
    • ‘In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the reserved cooking liquid to a boil.’
    • ‘Put the white wine vinegar, all the spices and 150 ml of cold water in a pan, bring to the boil then pour over the fish.’
    • ‘Once the porridge has returned to the boil, it should be allowed to cook slowly for 20-30 minutes.’
    • ‘The water came to a boil and Rowena poured some over her teabag.’
    • ‘Add the stock and bring to a boil.’
    • ‘Add the tomatoes, wine and thyme and bring to the boil, turn to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.’
    • ‘Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in the cornstarch, a little at a time.’
    • ‘Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, and simmer for fifteen minutes.’
    • ‘Add the lentils, broth, tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot and bring to a boil.’
    • ‘In a medium saucepan, bring two inches of water to a boil and remove from the heat.’
    • ‘To peel your own almonds, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil.’
    boiling point, 100 degrees celsius, 100 degrees centigrade
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The process of heating a liquid to the temperature at which it bubbles and turns to vapor.
      • ‘I went to read my book and timed the egg for a five minute boil.’
      • ‘The second, hotter, hob was opened and pasta was put on the boil.’
      • ‘The elderly widower keeps the food on the boil all afternoon long, stirring it now and then.’
      • ‘The charity hopes to have every kettle in the county on the boil this May for their annual fundraising Tea Day.’
      • ‘She loved people to call, and the welcome was always there, because the kettle was always on the boil, and her face would light up when she would come to the door.’
      • ‘She sounds like an old electric kettle on the boil.’
      • ‘They kept the kettle on the boil all day.’
      • ‘You will have those pots on the boil in no time at all.’
      • ‘There was a warm and hearty welcome for all visitors to the Timothy family home and Mrs. Timothy always ensured that the kettle was on the boil.’
      • ‘Or what of the porridge left on the boil too long or the cat's fur balls?’
      • ‘In Norman's house the kettle was on the boil and a strange reception committee awaited us.’
      • ‘Once again the kettle will be on the boil and the ladies committee will look after the guests.’
      • ‘In order for each batch of beer to taste the same, exactly the same amount of the same type of hops must be added at exactly the same time during each boil.’
      • ‘The kettle would soon be on the boil and the cup of tea ready within minutes.’
      • ‘The kettle is permanently on the boil.’
      • ‘She was a very welcoming person and always had the kettle on the boil.’
    2. 1.2 A state of great activity or excitement.
      • ‘The economy has gone off the boil.’
      • ‘This game's gone off the boil a bit since the sending off.’
      • ‘They are desperate for the victory having gone off the boil in recent weeks.’
      • ‘This title does seem to have gone off the boil in the last few months.’
      • ‘But things had gone off the boil at Burnden and Alan Ball's Exeter made an already subdued crowd of 5,631 even quieter.’
      • ‘In fact it was the top agenda item about ten years ago, I guess, and it's gone off the boil a bit recently.’
      • ‘The Australian has gone off the boil in recent months but once back to form, is sure to be making his presence felt again.’
      • ‘However things have now gone off the boil again.’
      • ‘The issue has gone off the boil in recent times.’
      • ‘Even if their records have gone off the boil, the band has its reputation as one of Britain's most exciting live experiences to protect.’
      • ‘Things have gone off the boil a bit recently.’
      • ‘It has gone off the boil this year, but Dampier still backs it for consistent returns.’
      • ‘He knows which of the youngsters is in form, and which has gone off the boil.’
      • ‘They have gone off the boil in recent weeks picking up just five points in their last six games.’
      • ‘They have gone off the boil in recent weeks.’
      • ‘In the last couple of races the team seems to have just gone off the boil a bit.’
      • ‘It seems that I've gone off the boil, which makes me less hot-headed.’
      • ‘He has gone off the boil lately.’
      • ‘If you thought maybe he had gone off the boil a bit, then it's time you redressed that assumption.’
      • ‘Since then the issue has gone off the boil.’
    3. 1.3 An area of churning water.
      ‘massive current differentials, boils, and braided channels’
      • ‘Topwater dogwalkers and slush-type plugs can draw horrific boils and blasts, but you tend to miss trout on them.’
      • ‘Just before my sighting I notice an odd boil or swirl of water to my left.’
      • ‘A huge, gleaming slab surged and turned amid a boil of whitewater.’
      • ‘The entrance to Nose Breaker consisted of a keeper hole at the top going through a very tight S turn with huge boils going off of the falls.’
      • ‘Sliding as close as we can past one boat hidden under spray I see a huge boil some 50 feet away from us, a distinct impression of black sliding into silver.’
    4. 1.4Fishing A sudden rise of a fish at a fly.
      • ‘Two quick twelve inch pulls then a huge head appeared quickly engulfing the frog, this was followed by a big boil and swirl.’
      • ‘No one has seen the bite, and there is no boil or splash to mark the event, just 130 lb Moimoi stretching out straight down the wake, a reel screaming.’
      • ‘When the big fish took there was a bow wave and a big boil, and all three of us rushed for the rod.’
      • ‘A quick yank at the first bump or boil of a following salmon usually pulls the fly away and puts the fish down.’
      • ‘A boil or two on the surface, and the fish, a stunningly beautiful creature of around 7 lbs. was scooped into the net.’
  • 2US A casual outdoor meal at which shellfish is prepared by boiling.

    ‘the reappearance of warm days signals another revival: weekend crawfish boils’
    • ‘In other parts of the country, it might be a fish fry or a crab or oyster boil.’
    • ‘I went to a lobster boil once in Maine where they had lobsters, clams and corn.’
    • ‘Some locals did a crab boil last night in the parking lot, I got a dozen new mosquito bites, but it was worth it!’
    • ‘It features a crab and shrimp boil on Fridays.’
    • ‘Nothing is easier than a seafood boil to bring people together.’
    1. 2.1 A dish of shellfish boiled in a large pot with sweet corn, potatoes, and other ingredients.
      ‘I will definitely come back and try the crab cakes and lobster boil’
      • ‘Heat to a simmer, then add seafood boil mix’
      • ‘This crab boil mix can be used for shrimp, crawfish, lobster or crab.’
      • ‘Add bouquet garni, crab boil, lemons and garlic.’
      • ‘Popular along the southeast coast of the United States and especially in Louisiana, shrimp or crab boil spice mix is used, not surprisingly, for boiling shrimp and crabs.’


  • keep the pot boiling

    • Maintain the momentum or interest value of something.

      • ‘There are enough questions to keep the pot boiling well into May.’
      • ‘They have genuine promotion ambitions if they can keep the pot boiling.’
      • ‘However, because of the engine's unusual power and torque characteristics, you really have to work at the gear lever to keep the pot boiling.’
      • ‘Graham did all he could on the spot and then repaired home, keeping the pot boiling with a daily fax and phone call.’
      • ‘The onus is on the Action Group to keep the pot boiling on the issue and ensure that there is a ministerial response to their proposal.’
      • ‘What the radicals can do is keep the pot boiling indefinitely, and that suits them just fine.’
      • ‘The chance to keep the pot boiling after a good win is an obvious temptation, but their fly-half will benefit from a week's recovery time after coming off with a thigh strain.’
      • ‘We will keep the pot boiling on this until David is released because this is a question of basic democratic rights.’
      • ‘He kept the pot boiling with a try and three goals.’
      • ‘They did everything they could to keep the pot boiling.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • boil down to

    • Be in essence a matter of.

      ‘everything boiled down to cash in the end’
      • ‘In essence, this boils down to whether modern industrial capitalism is compatible with a healthy planet.’
      • ‘They're a good, all-round side and I don't see a big difference between us, so it may boil down to who is the better prepared.’
      • ‘I find it laughable now that at 25 I was having what essentially boiled down to a mid-life crisis.’
      • ‘It boils down to one simple fact: this society rewards effort rather than results.’
      • ‘I guess it all boils down to a matter of confidence in the long term future of space research.’
      • ‘Its core issues seem to boil down to two - having adequate finance and ensuring skilled management.’
      • ‘That wasn't the actual topic, but that's what it boiled down to.’
      • ‘These problems essentially boil down to one: the crisis of political perspective.’
      • ‘As in any legal-ethical debate, the question boils down to a matter of someone's rights.’
      • ‘I guess my feelings on the matter boil down to two points.’
      come down to, amount to, be in essence, comprise, add up to
      View synonyms
  • boil something down

    • Reduce the volume of a liquid by boiling.

      ‘they boil down the syrup until it is very thick’
      • ‘The amount of red wine the recipe called for seemed rather too small to me, so I used more wine - about three times as much - by boiling it down to the same volume as indicated in the recipe.’
      • ‘By the time the chicken was done, the accompanying vegetables had been boiled down into a soggy mush.’
      • ‘Dissolve the sugar in a little water over a high heat and boil the resulting syrup down to the softball stage.’
      • ‘When we decided to become a bit more professional about sugarmaking, we began by looking for a small stainless steel pan, or ‘evaporator,’ which holds the sap while it is boiled down to syrup.’
      • ‘Skim the fat from pan juices, and reduce the drippings by boiling them down to a delicious sauce.’
      • ‘Meanwhile the cooking liquor would be boiled down to make a thickened gravy.’
      • ‘After the tomatoes are boiled down, simmer at lowest heat setting for 90 minutes to two hours.’
      • ‘The company, like other ‘renderers,’ takes what is left of the cow after it is slaughtered and boils it down into tallow, used for candles, lubricants and soaps, and bone meal used in fertilizer and animal feed.’’
      • ‘After the oil is boiled down, it is sealed into casks, and put into storage.’
      • ‘If the liquid is too thin for a gravy, just put it in a pan on the stovetop and boil it down to reduce to a nice consistency.’
      condense, concentrate, reduce, distil, thicken, compress
      View synonyms
  • boil over

    • 1(of a liquid) flow over the sides of the container in boiling.

      • ‘Do not allow mixture to boil or to boil over the side of the pan.’
      • ‘One has to let the milk boil over, to signify plenty, a successful harvest.’
      • ‘What I won't do again is the coconut rice, which boiled over on the hob.’
      • ‘This means something that can take a lot of heat, go into the microwave, and still have high sides so the whole thing doesn't boil over.’
      • ‘All the bulk of the liquid will eventually reach boiling point and the soup will boil and boil over.’
      • ‘Put the lid on for this but leave a little gap because, with the presence of the milk, it could boil over.’
      • ‘As I head back in I hear the unmistakable sound of the milk boiling over.’
      • ‘The liquid boiled over, and the tank was at once enveloped in flames.’
      • ‘Homogenized milk froths and boils over, and also curdles more readily.’
      • ‘One day someone forgot to turn off the steam - the thick porridge-like liquid soap boiled over and oozed over the factory floor before anyone realised.’
      1. 1.1(of a situation or strong emotion) become so excited or tense as to get out of control.
        ‘one woman's anger boiled over’
        • ‘Four players from each side were booked in a match which threatened to boil over on more than one occasion.’
        • ‘At times, this game reached boiling point but thankfully never boiled over and at the end of the sixty or so minutes, a draw was the fairest result.’
        • ‘This frustration and anger boiled over that year, one famous for strikes.’
        • ‘The game then exploded as tempers boiled over.’
        • ‘That anger may boil over sooner than is thought.’
        • ‘Well, tempers boiled over on Saturday, as the city erupted in riots.’
        • ‘Emotions boiled over inside me, and I burst out crying.’
        • ‘It was too much for her to take and her anger boiled over.’
        • ‘At this point the two teams intense rivalry boiled over.’
        • ‘I've always had a stubborn streak, but I've never let my emotions boil over like that before.’


Middle English: from Old French boillir, from Latin bullire ‘to bubble’, from bulla ‘bubble’.




Main definitions of boil in English

: boil1boil2



  • An inflamed pus-filled swelling on the skin, caused typically by the infection of a hair follicle.

    • ‘They also suffered from boils and abscesses as a result of a lack of fresh food, diarrhoea, mosquito attacks and constant loss of sleep.’
    • ‘Early civilizations used various heat applications to promote drainage and healing of boils, as well as to limit the spread of infection and for analgesic purposes.’
    • ‘The Los Angeles Times reported January 27 that the skin infections, which appear as ugly boils, started turning up last fall.’
    • ‘A boil is an abscess occurring in the skin, and is associated with hair follicles.’
    • ‘The recurrence of boils, pustules and other such ailments in the stories echoes Beckett's own frequent affliction with skin disorders.’
    • ‘The ripe fruit was used to provide external relief from carbuncles and painful boils and used internally to treat stomach ulcers.’
    • ‘His body had been covered with painful, egg-sized boils, a condition for which local doctors could find no diagnosis.’
    • ‘In the story, Job hangs on true, and God gives him his wives and children and fixes all his boils and carbuncles.’
    • ‘Symptoms of diabetes include having to get up at night to go to the toilet, feeling thirsty, lacking energy and getting reoccurring infections such as boils and abscesses.’
    • ‘While leaf paste is used externally against boils and carbuncles, the extract is considered a good remedy for recurring earache.’
    • ‘These infections may be mild such as pimples or boils or serious, for example infection of the bloodstream, bones or joints.’
    • ‘Many died of boils, abscesses and pustules which erupted on the legs and in the armpits.’
    • ‘It is useful for boils and skin ulcerations, like bedsores and canker sores.’
    • ‘Do not be tempted to squeeze boils as this can spread the infection.’
    • ‘Call your doctor if a boil or carbuncle is extremely painful, lasts longer than two weeks or occurs with a fever.’
    • ‘Any rash that looks bright red, has crusted areas, sores or boils should be seen by your doctor.’
    • ‘Sure, her clothes were completely burned away, and her skin had some small boils on it, but that was all.’
    • ‘A boil should be treated by applying a warm-water compress to the affected area for 20 minutes, three times a day, until it bursts.’
    • ‘Lemon oil taken internally or sniffed, is good for diabetes, asthma, boils and varicose veins.’
    • ‘You can use them to treat sores, bruises, cuts, boils and inflammatory skin conditions.’
    swelling, spot, pimple, blister, pustule, eruption, blemish, carbuncle, wen, cyst, abscess, tumour, ulcer, chilblain, gumboil
    View synonyms


Old English bȳle, bȳl, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch buil and German Beule.