Definition of melt in US English:

melt

verb

  • 1Make or become liquefied by heat.

    with object ‘the hot metal melted the wax’
    no object ‘place under the broiler until the cheese has melted’
    ‘the icebergs were melting away’
    • ‘Plastic bags are no good because they would melt.’
    • ‘I plan to go every available weekend until the snow melts away.’
    • ‘Rather than melting away like normal frost, the coldness lingered where Bruetar had grasped the hilt of the sword.’
    • ‘If you need emergency water, melt the snow first and then drink liquid water.’
    • ‘I smell something strange and find the smoke alarm melted on the stove.’
    • ‘Temperatures are climbing, sea levels are rising, Antarctica is thawing - and these are just the tip of the rapidly melting iceberg.’
    • ‘Mixed with melting snow, people had to walk on footpaths covered by dark water.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I have used Italian Taleggio, French Cantal and Swiss Gruyère, and even goat's cheese on one occasion, to melt over the tender potatoes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘White snow gently fell onto the glass of the skylight, melting away.’
    • ‘This snow didn't melt as soon as it touched you… it stuck to your skin and sat there before slowly 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘New research reveals that the rapidly melting glaciers are even changing the shape of the planet, making the earth more oblate than spherical.’
    • ‘Wildlife is scarce in the region this time of year but will return when the snow melts this spring and summer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Stones dropped from melting Canadian icebergs have been found in sea sediments off the coast of Portugal.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Dissolve in liquid.
      ‘add a cup of sugar and boil until the sugar melts’
      • ‘I like turning those walls to sugar and watching them melt in the rain.’
      • ‘The ivory dough from the dumplings' outer shell is so tender, they melt in your mouth.’
      • ‘The snow was white powdered sugar that quickly melted on the hot banana, just like real snow does when falling onto the ground.’
      • ‘For filling, heat white chocolate until just melted and cool for 5 minutes.’
      • ‘Heating the sugar until it melts, as practised in many bars, is a Czechoslovakian custom.’
      • ‘The glass in the tram car windows melted; stocks of sugar boiled in bakery cellars.’
      • ‘Add two tablespoons of honey and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the soap has melted.’
      • ‘Add a small packet of white marshmallows, stir until melted in.’
      • ‘Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the sugar, then cook for three-four minutes until it melts and caramelises.’
      • ‘Braise the pear on a slow fire until the crystal sugar melts.’
      • ‘Stir often until caramelized sugar melts again and mixture is reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 5 minutes.’
      • ‘Frayed nerves and tense muscles seemed to melt in the viscous liquid that poured out of the brass container suspended above me.’
      • ‘Cook the cauliflower until almost melting - if it is slightly crunchy, it won't liquidise to a velvety consistency.’
      • ‘Stir in gelatine until it has melted, cool slightly then quickly stir in the yoghurt mixture.’
      • ‘Add the anchovy fillets and cook gently until almost melting.’
      • ‘We used butter too sometimes, but you need softened butter and butter would also melt the sugar a bit, making the sandwich less crunchy.’
      • ‘When the sugar has melted, add all the ingredients, except raisins and salt.’
      • ‘Put the butter, sugar, cream and golden syrup into a pan and leave over a low heat until the sugar has melted.’
      • ‘Salts conduct electricity well when melted or when dissolved in water or some other solvents but not when they are solid.’
      • ‘Heat the butter in a large frying pan and stir in the sugar until melted.’
  • 2Make or become more tender or loving.

    with object ‘Richard gave her a smile that melted her heart’
    no object ‘she was so beautiful that I melted’
    • ‘Debbie Harry sang the final verse and chorus in French, and a million teenage boys melted.’
    • ‘She was used to people melting at the mere sight of her brother.’
    • ‘And despite herself, Matilda gives in to Ric's charm - she's totally melting for the guy!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And the way she had - her demeanor with people, it just - it causes people to melt.’
    • ‘I would just look into his beautiful eyes and melt.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I looked into her green eyes and felt like I was melting.’
    • ‘I could feel his breath on my lips and suddenly I was melting.’
    • ‘Jadelyn followed his gaze and nearly melted at the tenderness with which he looked at his sister and how protective he was of her.’
    • ‘When he cupped her cheek with his other hand in a tender concerned way, she tried desperately not to melt.’
    • ‘But he's also a compassionate, caring man whose heart melts for people who are suffering’
    • ‘Opening the lid, Zoe's cold heart almost melted completely.’
    • ‘She looked up at Harris and felt as if she was melting.’
    • ‘He looked into my eyes and I felt like I was melting.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her eyes looked deep into his and softened in that loving way that always made him melt.’
    • ‘Although Liz melts for Shaun's sudden charismatic evolution, the most touching relationship in the film is between the two best friends.’
    • ‘He was melting as he put an arm across her bare shoulders.’
    • ‘Sometimes I can seem a little hard, but show warmth and I soon melt.’
    soften, touch, disarm, mollify, relax, affect, move
    View synonyms
  • 3no object, with adverbial Leave or disappear unobtrusively.

    ‘the compromise was accepted and the opposition melted away’
    ‘the figure melted into thin air’
    • ‘In only two elections the whole of that lead has melted away.’
    • ‘It was hours before they finished filming and the crowds out outside melted away so the pair of us could leg it home.’
    • ‘The popular theory has it that these problems have melted away as the country has prospered.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Rowena's frown melted away as she sensed the air cooling dramatically.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Davis grinned inanely as his support melted away.’
    • ‘How have the readership gains melted away so quickly?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although many sceptics of global warming have melted away in recent years, some eminent ones remain.’
    • ‘His militia has either melted away or been killed or captured.’
    • ‘With the price artificially high, demand for that labor melted away.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In an instant every trace of fox had melted away.’
    • ‘Without another word, he vanished, melted away into the shadows, which slowly began to dissolve.’
    • ‘Although there were minor differences between the voices of boy and girl soloists, these melted away in a choir, said Professor Howard.’
    • ‘The bad blood between them melted away with the band's delight that the musical chemistry was intact.’
    vanish, vanish into thin air, disappear, fade away
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1melt into Change or merge imperceptibly into (another form or state)
      ‘the cheers melted into gasps of admiration’
      • ‘So many times on this trip with Asia, I have had this sensation of the past melting into the present.’
      • ‘And where do these waterways - some of them melting into each other - begin and end?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Blectum's plunderphonic audio collage soon melts into digital abstraction, and eventually breaks the sound down into a few clicks and cuts.’
      • ‘He uses a whole Reblochon cheese from the Savoie region of France which melts into the mixture of potatoes, onions and bacon.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The interview with de Vries is different, changing form slowly, almost imperceptibly at first, like an ice cube slowly melting into water.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That flat stomach melts into soft library flab as library time takes precedence over exercise.’
      • ‘Spaced-out, synthy and slick, each song melts into the next.’
      • ‘When heated, mascarpone melts into a creamy sauce.’
      • ‘Beef stew uses cuts like chuck, blade and shin, which have fat that melts into the sauce, making it velvety and delicious.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At the nearest turning he waited till the silhouette of the three persons melted into the distance and disappeared.’
      • ‘The music melts into silence as the batteries of the radio fade.’
      • ‘I am so tired that my body feels like it's melting into the floor.’

noun

  • 1An act or period of melting.

    ‘the precipitation falls as snow and is released during the spring melt’
    • ‘For a week the weather had been clear and sharp, with subfreezing lows and small melts in the afternoons.’
    • ‘This could translate into further storage improvements for Lake McConaughy as we move into the spring melt period.’
    • ‘In Mr. Quirouette's opinion, the four major causes are rain, wind-driven rain, snow and ice melt, and condensation.’
    • ‘The ice-free seas will further exacerbate the melt, as the reduced reflection of light will result in the dark seas absorbing more warmth.’
    • ‘But when the spring melt comes, some dissolved alpha-HCH flows into the Atlantic.’
    • ‘Following melt initiation, the intensity of melt is another consideration in the production of meltwater runoff.’
    • ‘Moreover, as the Arctic warms, the length of the melt period increases, which in turn thins the ice and further hastens its retreat.’
    • ‘Multiyear ice is defined as ice that has survived a minimum of two summer melt seasons.’
    • ‘As the 13th melt was nearing completion, something in the pit exploded.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With a spring melt, ipirautiik, waterproof boots, replace the furry boots.’
    • ‘Days of heavy rain and a sudden melt of snow on the North York Moors were blamed for the rapidly-rising river levels.’
    1. 1.1 Metal or other material in a melted condition.
      • ‘The blue colour of smalt derives from the addition of cobalt oxide to a potash glass melt during manufacture.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Should any such pathways exist they would be filled by recrystallized silicate melt where they impinged on the zone of partial melting.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He argued that all other granites represent hybrid magma formed by reaction of basaltic melt with crustal metamorphic rocks.’
      • ‘Interestingly, high-temperature melting experiments have shown similar peritectic assemblages coexisting with granitic melt.’
      • ‘These melts have low silica contents and are dominated by calcium and magnesium carbonate.’
      • ‘Field evidence suggests that many dykes were responsible for transporting melt, and this would substantially reduce the inflation time.’
      • ‘Mullite crystals grow out of a complex silicate melt - porcelain kilns never attain pure silica's melting point.’
      • ‘You know, I'm listening to you and Orelon talk about the melt on the trees and the ice still on the trees.’
      • ‘Still, it is scientifically preferable to collect samples of the melt that formed during the creation of a specific lunar impact basin.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Another effect will be to lower the peraluminosity and decrease the lime content of the melt.’
    2. 1.2 A quantity of metal melted in one operation.
      • ‘The term fluxing also includes the treatment of nonferrous melts by inert or reactive gases to remove solid or gaseous impurities.’
      • ‘We need to know how much of this melt is refreezing back on, because the refreezing in fact slightly stabilises the ice shelf.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, the relative effects of fluctuating dynamic support and episodic addition of melt cannot be clearly distinguished in the present dataset.’
      • ‘Dingwell et al. have shown at low dissolved water contents in rhyolitic melts, large changes in melt viscosity can occur for very small changes of water content.’
      • ‘Liquid nitriding compositions that do not contain a substantial amount of cyanate in the original melt must be aged before use in production.’
      • ‘Thus we need to estimate stretching factors in some other way to predict the amount of melt that may be generated.’
      • ‘Radioactive dating of the melts and the hydrothermal deposits indicates the Sudbury impact occurred about 1.85 billion years ago.’
      • ‘This would present an option of either increased amounts of melt giving a thicker sarcophagus or lower temperatures to enhance container survival.’
    3. 1.3North American with modifier A sandwich, hamburger, or other dish containing or topped with melted cheese.
      ‘a tuna melt’
      • ‘Patty, the vegetarian, shared a tuna melt with Molly and later they felt ill.’
      • ‘Other items I spotted were toasted focaccia, chicken satay and roasted vegetables with cheese melt each for £2.99.’
      • ‘Ann spotted one of her favourites and asked for the tuna melt.’
      • ‘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 was was eating a patty melt and fries on my sofa watching Letterman, so clearly I was home around midnight.’
      • ‘We decided on the gyros and tuna melt.’
      • ‘There is also a range of light meals (such as tuna melt or steak 'n' cheese sandwiches), plus desserts.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He's grabbed some hamburgers, coke, and for you Amber, I told him to get you water and a cheese melt.’
      • ‘Hot Italian snacks, otherwise known as panini, came with chargrilled vegetables and mozzarella cheese or tuna melt.’
      • ‘Also included are keema and peas with naan bread, vine tomato and mozzarella melt, tuna salad and chicken curry.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My favorite cheat meal is a patty melt, but the restaurant versions have way too much fat.’
      • ‘I think about that as I chomp on my half of the melt, but Smith is still too busy talking to eat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Quite literally, they were covered in foil much like a tuna melt floundering in a microwave.’
      • ‘As the prices were so reasonable, daughter decided to skip the two-course special and chose the chicken and cranberry melt - light and tasty.’

Phrases

  • melt in the mouth

    • (of food) be deliciously light or tender and need little chewing.

      ‘my shortbread melts in the mouth’
      as adjective ‘melt-in-your-mouth chicken livers’
      • ‘The beef is so extremely tender that it seems to melt in the mouth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It melts in the mouth in a delicious way, making it my favourite among all the pastries available.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The pulled pork is, quite simply, melt in the mouth, while the chicken is juicily tender.’
      • ‘The thin strips of pink lamb melted in the mouth but I felt the many sweet elements crowded out the quality lamb.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • melt down

    • 1Collapse or break down disastrously.

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

    • Melt a metal article so as to reuse the raw material.

      ‘beautiful objects are being melted down and sold for scrap’

Origin

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.

Pronunciation

melt

/mɛlt//melt/