Definition of melt in English:



  • 1Make or become liquefied by heat.

    [no object] ‘place under the broiler until the cheese has melted’
    [with object] ‘the hot metal melted the wax’
    ‘the icebergs were melting away’
    ‘asparagus with melted butter’
    • ‘I have used Italian Taleggio, French Cantal and Swiss Gruyère, and even goat's cheese on one occasion, to melt over the tender potatoes.’
    • ‘Plastic bags are no good because they would melt.’
    • ‘Rather than melting away like normal frost, the coldness lingered where Bruetar had grasped the hilt of the sword.’
    • ‘I plan to go every available weekend until the snow melts away.’
    • ‘Wildlife is scarce in the region this time of year but will return when the snow melts this spring and summer.’
    • ‘Mixed with melting snow, people had to walk on footpaths covered by dark water.’
    • ‘Once before in Shanghai, I had gone to see some ice sculptures in an exhibition but a huge cold-air blower had to be used to protect the sculptures from melting away.’
    • ‘It was all covered in white frost, glinting and melting away with the first rays of the sun, making it a perfect picture for a postcard.’
    • ‘Stones dropped from melting Canadian icebergs have been found in sea sediments off the coast of Portugal.’
    • ‘They need no more than a brushing of oil, and the briefest encounter with the hot surface, and they turn all brown and crunchy on the outside, green, tender and melting within.’
    • ‘Temperatures are climbing, sea levels are rising, Antarctica is thawing - and these are just the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg.’
    • ‘If you need emergency water, melt the snow first and then drink liquid water.’
    • ‘New research reveals that the rapidly melting glaciers are even changing the shape of the planet, making the earth more oblate than spherical.’
    • ‘Volcanism can have a large effect on the dating of any particular sample, of course, because when a rock melts it will release the gasses trapped in the rock matrix and therefore restart the atomic clock.’
    • ‘White snow gently fell onto the glass of the skylight, melting away.’
    • ‘I smell something strange and find the smoke alarm melted on the stove.’
    • ‘This snow didn't melt as soon as it touched you… it stuck to your skin and sat there before slowly melting away.’
    • ‘The debris protects the ice from melting and sustains a thin body of ice that would otherwise have melted away.’
    • ‘The blizzards had ceased three days ago and the remaining snow was swiftly melting away in the face of the late January sun.’
    • ‘Add the Stilton, milk and cream and heat gently stirring often until the Stilton has melted and the soup is hot.’
    liquefy, thaw, unfreeze, defrost, soften, run, flux, fuse, render, clarify, dissolve, deliquesce
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    1. 1.1[with object]Melt something, especially a metal article, so that the material it is made of can be used again.
      ‘beautiful objects are being melted down and sold for scrap’
      • ‘Police mounted a lengthy surveillance operation in the grounds of his West Kingsdown home to look for signs that he was transporting the gold in small lots to Bristol where it was melted down and recast, prior to being sold.’
      • ‘Some of these same bells were melted down to make ammunition for the struggling Southern war machine.’
      • ‘Then you have cases where common people who find antiquities often melt them down for the gold, or simply throw them away.’
      • ‘Guns are often melted down, while hard currency may be donated to a charitable fund.’
      • ‘All the guns from York and Selby will be sent to North Yorkshire Police headquarters, at Newby Wiske, before being transported to a South Yorkshire company, where they will be melted down and recycled for other uses.’
      • ‘The king even melted down his own plate to make coins.’
      • ‘If the trade centre scrap reaches specifications it will be melted down and used to configure the cutting edge of the ship's bow, according to a spokesman for Northorp Grumman, the yard operators.’
      • ‘And the chances are good that scrap metal dealers in Johannesburg are buying your water meter, melting it down and then selling it off as junk.’
      • ‘The FA Cup was stolen from football outfitters William Shillock in Birmingham - 68 years later an 83-year-old man confessed that he had melted it down to make counterfeit half-crown coins.’
      • ‘The cans that Montrealers put in their green boxes are compressed into 3’ x 3’ x 4’ bales and sent to companies like Sidbec-Dosco, which melts them down along with old automobile carcasses.’
      • ‘It takes apart the components and melts them down or refurbishes newer models and sells them on to developing countries.’
      • ‘But the railings were back up in Bedford Square soon enough and have been ever since (I'm assuming they were removed during the war, as iron railings were melted down for armament production).’
      • ‘That the tablet was broken in antiquity can be proved from a scientific analysis of the lines of fracture; maybe someone in ancient times intended to melt it down and reuse the bronze.’
      • ‘The metal shavings from drilling the original holes were melted down, and poured back to fill the holes seamlessly.’
      • ‘The bell was melted down and recast, then rung carefully for special events.’
      • ‘Cleveland Police said the chain was not something that could be sold on easily, but it might be melted down.’
      • ‘Maxfield hoped to buy the inventory, melt it down and create a sculpture from the metal.’
      • ‘Most of the statue will be melted down and used to make a memorial in Texas.’
      • ‘The better ones were put aside while the old and battered sinkers were melted down using a blowtorch and re-moulded into varying sizes according to the needs of the shopkeeper.’
      • ‘Other companies take scrap metal and melt it down for use in lowgrade metal products like garden furniture and sign posts.’
    2. 1.2Dissolve in liquid.
      ‘add a cup of sugar and boil until the sugar melts’
      • ‘Add two tablespoons of honey and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soap has melted.’
      • ‘Add the anchovy fillets and cook gently until almost melting.’
      • ‘Salts conduct electricity well when melted or when dissolved in water or some other solvents but not when they are solid.’
      • ‘Heating the sugar until it melts, as practised in many bars, is a Czechoslovakian custom.’
      • ‘When the sugar has melted, add all the ingredients, except raisins and salt.’
      • ‘Add a small packet of white marshmallows, stir until melted in.’
      • ‘The glass in the tram car windows melted; stocks of sugar boiled in bakery cellars.’
      • ‘Put the butter, sugar, cream and golden syrup into a pan and leave over a low heat until the sugar has melted.’
      • ‘Stir often until caramelized sugar melts again and mixture is reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes.’
      • ‘Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the sugar, then cook for three-four minutes until it melts and caramelises.’
      • ‘For filling, heat white chocolate until just melted and cool for 5 minutes.’
      • ‘Heat the butter in a large frying pan and stir in the sugar until melted.’
      • ‘Stir in gelatine until it has melted, cool slightly then quickly stir in the yoghurt mixture.’
      • ‘I like turning those walls to sugar and watching them melt in the rain.’
      • ‘Cook the cauliflower until almost melting - if it is slightly crunchy, it won't liquidise to a velvety consistency.’
      • ‘Frayed nerves and tense muscles seemed to melt in the viscous liquid that poured out of the brass container suspended above me.’
      • ‘Braise the pear on a slow fire until the crystal sugar melts.’
      • ‘We used butter too sometimes, but you need softened butter and butter would also melt the sugar a bit, making the sandwich less crunchy.’
      • ‘The snow was white powdered sugar that quickly melted on the hot banana, just like real snow does when falling onto the ground.’
      • ‘The ivory dough from the dumplings' outer shell is so tender, they melt in your mouth.’
  • 2Make or become more tender or loving.

    [no object] ‘she was so beautiful that I melted’
    [with object] ‘Richard gave her a smile that melted her heart’
    • ‘Although Liz melts for Shaun's sudden charismatic evolution, the most touching relationship in the film is between the two best friends.’
    • ‘It was a smile Elizabeth had never seen on her husband's face before; one so full of love and tenderness that her heart melted.’
    • ‘The next, she is melting and vulnerable, taking a deserted 14-year-old kid called Volodya under her wing and showing him what best friends are for.’
    • ‘He and Qi share no chemistry - she bakes him some madeleines after he rescues her from the bad guys and suddenly we're supposed to believe this hardened soldier melts like the pastry in his mouth.’
    • ‘She looked up at Harris and felt as if she was melting.’
    • ‘And despite herself, Matilda gives in to Ric's charm - she's totally melting for the guy!’
    • ‘And the way she had - her demeanor with people, it just - it causes people to melt.’
    • ‘She was used to people melting at the mere sight of her brother.’
    • ‘Debbie Harry sang the final verse and chorus in French, and a million teenage boys melted.’
    • ‘He was melting as he put an arm across her bare shoulders.’
    • ‘Jadelyn followed his gaze and nearly melted at the tenderness with which he looked at his sister and how protective he was of her.’
    • ‘But he's also a compassionate, caring man whose heart melts for people who are suffering’
    • ‘I would just look into his beautiful eyes and melt.’
    • ‘Her eyes looked deep into his and softened in that loving way that always made him melt.’
    • ‘I looked into her green eyes and felt like I was melting.’
    • ‘Sometimes I can seem a little hard, but show warmth and I soon melt.’
    • ‘When he cupped her cheek with his other hand in a tender concerned way, she tried desperately not to melt.’
    • ‘He looked into my eyes and I felt like I was melting.’
    • ‘Opening the lid, Zoe's cold heart almost melted completely.’
    • ‘I could feel his breath on my lips and suddenly I was melting.’
    soften, touch, disarm, mollify, relax, affect, move
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  • 3[no object] Leave or disappear unobtrusively.

    ‘the compromise was accepted and the opposition melted away’
    ‘the figure melted into thin air’
    • ‘In an instant every trace of fox had melted away.’
    • ‘Davis grinned inanely as his support melted away.’
    • ‘Without another word, he vanished, melted away into the shadows, which slowly began to dissolve.’
    • ‘With the price artificially high, demand for that labor melted away.’
    • ‘After listening to a five-minute speech outside County Hall - empty of staff for the bank holiday - they melted away as peacefully as they had come.’
    • ‘His militia has either melted away or been killed or captured.’
    • ‘Rowena's frown melted away as she sensed the air cooling dramatically.’
    • ‘In only two elections the whole of that lead has melted away.’
    • ‘The bad blood between them melted away with the band's delight that the musical chemistry was intact.’
    • ‘The impish smile that had not left his face for the past hour melted away.’
    • ‘But the armies melted away under the crushing superiority of the enemy.’
    • ‘Although many sceptics of global warming have melted away in recent years, some eminent ones remain.’
    • ‘Although there were minor differences between the voices of boy and girl soloists, these melted away in a choir, said Professor Howard.’
    • ‘The mining town that was once here has melted away, leaving the classic two-storey pub, with its pretty wooden veranda, sitting alone in a gentle fold of the hills.’
    • ‘How have the readership gains melted away so quickly?’
    • ‘The popular theory has it that these problems have melted away as the country has prospered.’
    • ‘As they vanished behind the trees that surrounded the park, I felt rather strange, as if 60 years had just melted away.’
    • ‘Carly's voice seemed to fade out with the rest of the world, melting away like butter in a microwave.’
    • ‘The press coverage was disapproving but still fairly low-key; few columnists rushed to respond and, in the end, the story melted away like a bad smell.’
    • ‘It was hours before they finished filming and the crowds out outside melted away so the pair of us could leg it home.’
    vanish, vanish into thin air, disappear, fade away
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    1. 3.1Change or merge imperceptibly into (another form or state)
      ‘the cheers melted into gasps of admiration’
      • ‘Spaced-out, synthy and slick, each song melts into the next.’
      • ‘At the nearest turning he waited till the silhouette of the three persons melted into the distance and disappeared.’
      • ‘Set in a secluded meadow in Yosemite Valley against granite cliffs, the 99-room hotel of stone, glass and concrete melts into its remarkable setting.’
      • ‘I am so tired that my body feels like it's melting into the floor.’
      • ‘The stage is painted with blue sky melting into the ocean, in front of which typical Irish music and American country music will be played.’
      • ‘Blectum's plunderphonic audio collage soon melts into digital abstraction, and eventually breaks the sound down into a few clicks and cuts.’
      • ‘Melt it and mix it with double cream and you have chocolate heaven: pop one of Michel Cluizel's oval buttons in your mouth and it slowly melts into a luscious chocolate swirl.’
      • ‘He uses a whole Reblochon cheese from the Savoie region of France which melts into the mixture of potatoes, onions and bacon.’
      • ‘Schumacher opens the film in terrific style with a black and white section set in 1919 Paris, which gradually melts into a full colour flashback to the bustling 1870s.’
      • ‘And where do these waterways - some of them melting into each other - begin and end?’
      • ‘That flat stomach melts into soft library flab as library time takes precedence over exercise.’
      • ‘Working with light hues, the artist generates the impression of his motifs melting into a suffusion of light and shade on the computer generated prints.’
      • ‘Beef stew uses cuts like chuck, blade and shin, which have fat that melts into the sauce, making it velvety and delicious.’
      • ‘So many times on this trip with Asia, I have had this sensation of the past melting into the present.’
      • ‘Beyond the city, urban sprawl quickly melts into full-on farmland, your jarred spine straightens out again and the whole week's expedition seems to stretch ahead to the horizon beneath immense white clouds.’
      • ‘The music melts into silence as the batteries of the radio fade.’
      • ‘I love the feeling of slowness and how a day can start off with a chilling coldness that melts into a strange half-warmness later on.’
      • ‘The interview with de Vries is different, changing form slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, like an ice cube slowly melting into water.’
      • ‘When heated, mascarpone melts into a creamy sauce.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, cream the yeast in a bowl with the water and milk, then stir in the butter and keep stirring until it has melted into the mixture.’


  • 1An act of melting.

    ‘the precipitation falls as snow and is released during the spring melt’
    • ‘Following melt initiation, the intensity of melt is another consideration in the production of meltwater runoff.’
    • ‘In Mr. Quirouette's opinion, the four major causes are rain, wind-driven rain, snow and ice melt, and condensation.’
    • ‘But when the spring melt comes, some dissolved alpha-HCH flows into the Atlantic.’
    • ‘For a week the weather had been clear and sharp, with subfreezing lows and small melts in the afternoons.’
    • ‘Days of heavy rain and a sudden melt of snow on the North York Moors were blamed for the rapidly-rising river levels.’
    • ‘Moreover, as the Arctic warms, the length of the melt period increases, which in turn thins the ice and further hastens its retreat.’
    • ‘This could translate into further storage improvements for Lake McConaughy as we move into the spring melt period.’
    • ‘He expects the spring melt to wash most of the remaining oil into an adjacent lake where floating booms will prevent further spread and allow for recovery.’
    • ‘Multiyear ice is defined as ice that has survived a minimum of two summer melt seasons.’
    • ‘With a spring melt, ipirautiik, waterproof boots, replace the furry boots.’
    • ‘The ice-free seas will further exacerbate the melt, as the reduced reflection of light will result in the dark seas absorbing more warmth.’
    • ‘As the 13th melt was nearing completion, something in the pit exploded.’
    1. 1.1Metal or other material in a melted condition.
      • ‘Interestingly, high-temperature melting experiments have shown similar peritectic assemblages coexisting with granitic melt.’
      • ‘You know, I'm listening to you and Orelon talk about the melt on the trees and the ice still on the trees.’
      • ‘These melts have low silica contents and are dominated by calcium and magnesium carbonate.’
      • ‘Another effect will be to lower the peraluminosity and decrease the lime content of the melt.’
      • ‘Still, it is scientifically preferable to collect samples of the melt that formed during the creation of a specific lunar impact basin.’
      • ‘This is too long to preserve small bodies of melt in the crust, and suggests that the scenario is appropriate to neither the Waipiata nor the western Hungarian field.’
      • ‘He argued that all other granites represent hybrid magma formed by reaction of basaltic melt with crustal metamorphic rocks.’
      • ‘Mullite crystals grow out of a complex silicate melt - porcelain kilns never attain pure silica's melting point.’
      • ‘The research compares with estimates which put the rate of rise lower and which blame most of that on thermal expansion rather than ice melt.’
      • ‘The blue colour of smalt derives from the addition of cobalt oxide to a potash glass melt during manufacture.’
      • ‘This suggests that melting of basement rocks at a deeper crustal level, with some input of juvenile melt from the mantle, may have generated the dyke.’
      • ‘These melts will only crystallize within this period if they segregate from their protoliths.’
      • ‘The container then sinks through the melt under the influence of gravity and eventually comes to rest when the heat or the waste itself is dissipated.’
      • ‘Field evidence suggests that many dykes were responsible for transporting melt, and this would substantially reduce the inflation time.’
      • ‘Should any such pathways exist they would be filled by recrystallized silicate melt where they impinged on the zone of partial melting.’
    2. 1.2An amount melted at any one time.
      • ‘Thus we need to estimate stretching factors in some other way to predict the amount of melt that may be generated.’
      • ‘We need to know how much of this melt is refreezing back on, because the refreezing in fact slightly stabilises the ice shelf.’
      • ‘However, the relative effects of fluctuating dynamic support and episodic addition of melt cannot be clearly distinguished in the present dataset.’
      • ‘The amount of melt is critical in maximizing the thickness of the recrystallized zone around the container and to the sealing of any fissures in the zone of metamorphism.’
      • ‘Liquid nitriding compositions that do not contain a substantial amount of cyanate in the original melt must be aged before use in production.’
      • ‘This would present an option of either increased amounts of melt giving a thicker sarcophagus or lower temperatures to enhance container survival.’
      • ‘Radioactive dating of the melts and the hydrothermal deposits indicates the Sudbury impact occurred about 1.85 billion years ago.’
      • ‘The term fluxing also includes the treatment of nonferrous melts by inert or reactive gases to remove solid or gaseous impurities.’
    3. 1.3North American [with modifier]A sandwich, hamburger, or other dish containing or topped with melted cheese.
      ‘a tuna melt’
      • ‘He's grabbed some hamburgers, coke, and for you Amber, I told him to get you water and a cheese melt.’
      • ‘Patty, the vegetarian, shared a tuna melt with Molly and later they felt ill.’
      • ‘As the prices were so reasonable, daughter decided to skip the two-course special and chose the chicken and cranberry melt - light and tasty.’
      • ‘He ordered himself a tuna melt, left his door open for other patients to stroll in and was back in uniform the next day.’
      • ‘I think about that as I chomp on my half of the melt, but Smith is still too busy talking to eat.’
      • ‘There is also a range of light meals (such as tuna melt or steak 'n' cheese sandwiches), plus desserts.’
      • ‘Also included are keema and peas with naan bread, vine tomato and mozzarella melt, tuna salad and chicken curry.’
      • ‘Ann spotted one of her favourites and asked for the tuna melt.’
      • ‘My favorite cheat meal is a patty melt, but the restaurant versions have way too much fat.’
      • ‘At present the most popular baguette is the chicken and cheese melt with lettuce and mayonnaise called Lisa after the customer who first ordered the filling.’
      • ‘We decided on the gyros and tuna melt.’
      • ‘Quite literally, they were covered in foil much like a tuna melt floundering in a microwave.’
      • ‘Hot Italian snacks, otherwise known as panini, came with chargrilled vegetables and mozzarella cheese or tuna melt.’
      • ‘And so, for no good reason, on my first visit I ordered, of all things, a tuna melt, a meatball sub, and a roast beef sandwich.’
      • ‘I picked up a pressed penny for my sister, grabbed a fine lunch of lobster bisque and a crab melt, then went for Round Two, this time at Mohegan Sun.’
      • ‘Other items I spotted were toasted focaccia, chicken satay and roasted vegetables with cheese melt each for £2.99.’
      • ‘I was was eating a patty melt and fries on my sofa watching Letterman, so clearly I was home around midnight.’


  • melt in the (or your) mouth

    • (of food) be deliciously light or tender and need little or no chewing.

      ‘my shortbread melts in the mouth’
      [as adjective] ‘melt-in-your-mouth chicken livers’
      • ‘The pulled pork is, quite simply, melt in the mouth, while the chicken is juicily tender.’
      • ‘I ensure that the fresh herbs and spices thoroughly infuse the dishes so that the meat becomes so tender it really melts in the mouth,’ he said.’
      • ‘The meats were tender and tasty; the lamb melting in the mouth.’
      • ‘String beans of the variety known as Tender Green are stringless, extra large, and will melt in the mouth even when the pods are five inches long.’
      • ‘It melts in the mouth in a delicious way, making it my favourite among all the pastries available.’
      • ‘The thin strips of pink lamb melted in the mouth but I felt the many sweet elements crowded out the quality lamb.’
      • ‘My own pepper was equally satisfying; a whole, succulent green pepper so tender it melted in the mouth, piping hot and stuffed to bursting with rice and mincemeat.’
      • ‘Tom's tart looked more like a huge Danish pastry, but was absolutely delicious: the pastry melted in the mouth and the melange of Brie and leeks was judged to perfection.’
      • ‘The fishcake - and it was just one, but well-sized - was deliciously light and melted in the mouth, while the Hanoi duck came inside a stack of tortillas and salsa that looked bizarre but tasted sensational.’
      • ‘The beef is so extremely tender that it seems to melt in the mouth.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • melt down

    • 1Collapse or break down disastrously.

      ‘many expected him to melt down at the first sign of trouble’
      • ‘Next thing you know, her campaign melts down.’
      • ‘Well, day four of her confirmation hearings, and the woman is not melting down.’
      • ‘Just letting Citigroup melt down could have been catastrophic.’
      • ‘In fact, they delayed finalizing the satellite deal, which was announced last September just as the economy was melting down.’
      • ‘But day after day, the enthusiasm is melting down.’
      • ‘Ned Yost seemed to melt down at the end of last season.’
      • ‘During the past century empires crashed, new states foundered, utopian projects failed and entire civilisations melted down.’
      • ‘The recent site melt down has allowed me to repost this article with several more images.’
      • ‘In spite of history-making efforts by governments around the world, financial markets everywhere are still melting down.’
      • ‘The case was worth deciding this way, just to witness otherwise sensible intelligent academics melt down.’
    • 2(of a nuclear reactor) undergo a catastrophic failure as a result of the fuel overheating.

      ‘if the pumps that cool the reactor core become disabled the core could begin to overheat, and the reactor could melt down’
      • ‘Many expected him to melt down at the first sign of trouble.’


Old English meltan, mieltan, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse melta to malt, digest from an Indo-European root shared by Greek meldein to melt Latin mollis soft also by malt.