Definition of decoct in English:



[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • Extract the essence from (something) by heating or boiling it.

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


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