Definition of decoct in US English:



[with object]
  • Extract the essence from (something) by heating or boiling it.

    • ‘Extracts were prepared by decocting the dry herb with boiling water for 60 minutes.’
    • ‘Oil can be made of these by decocting them first in water.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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’.