Definition of simmer in US English:

simmer

verb

[no object]
  • 1(of water or food) stay just below the boiling point while being heated.

    ‘the goulash was simmering slowly on the stove’
    figurative ‘the disagreement simmered for years and eventually boiled over’
    • ‘Sparks danced up around the stew simmering over the fire, the smell wafting around the room.’
    • ‘Add more water if needed while the soup is simmering.’
    • ‘Reduce heat immediately to keep the water simmering, but not boiling.’
    • ‘The pot of water was now simmering away, and Nora had not returned.’
    • ‘Stirring chopped chocolate in a pan or bowl over hot, not simmering, water maintains an even, low temperature, resulting in glossy, firmly set chocolate.’
    • ‘While the stew is simmering, cut rounds of pita bread into quarters.’
    • ‘Then a blizzard settles in just before lunch, where live reindeer are tethered outside a yurt and cooked reindeer stew is simmering inside on the fire.’
    • ‘Two teaspoons of flax seed simmered in one quart water makes a good fiber solution (2 oz per day in juice).’
    • ‘You could also put a large panful of boiling salted water on to simmer gently so that it will come to the boil quickly at half-time.’
    • ‘Over the fire hung a black cast-iron pot, in which a stew was simmering.’
    • ‘While the sausages are simmering, remove the grapes from their stems, wash, and place in a bowl.’
    • ‘The fire glows, venison stew simmers, the hunter and his mates drink beer and yarn on into a New Zealand night.’
    • ‘While there was a stew simmering in the kettle, McCole gathered her courage sat down near Terrance.’
    • ‘Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer until pasta water comes to a boil.’
    • ‘When all was mixed, wrapped in muslin, and dumped into two large pans of water simmering on the Aga, the ladies went off to Mar'ton, too, for more shopping.’
    • ‘The water began to simmer, several lines of bubbles winding their way to the top.’
    • ‘Once the ingredients have simmered slowly in the soup, the chef adds the final seasonings and the alphabet soup is ready to be consumed and enjoyed.’
    • ‘The pasta and sauces were simmering on the stove.’
    • ‘I then threw in some fresh lemon juice and about a teaspoon of rose water and let it simmer for another five minutes or so.’
    • ‘He lifted up the lid of the pot where lamb stew was simmering.’
    boil gently, not quite boil, cook gently, stew, poach
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with object Keep (food) just below boiling when cooking or heating it.
      ‘simmer the sauce gently until thickened’
      • ‘Pappa al pomodoro is just what the name suggests - a pap, or mush, made by soaking and simmering stale bread in a tomato sauce.’
      • ‘Add chicken stock, season liberally and then simmer the soup for about 40 minutes until all the ingredients are cooked and soft.’
      • ‘Name all your ingredients with the correct measurements given and the length of time you would simmer the stew.’
      • ‘The whole thing was simmered in a mild broth, with plenty of garlic and maybe some white wine.’
      • ‘If you like a lighter, thinner sauce that tastes like the tomatoes weren't simmered for hours, it's worth a trip to a natural food store like Whole Foods to find this line.’
      • ‘For the young, brought up on MTV and quickie meals and express lines, will spending hours and hours lovingly simmering a pot of degchi mutton be something futile and unimaginable?’
      • ‘Always remember to simmer the soup, not boil it.’
      • ‘Second, simmer the sauce for as long and over as low a heat as possible.’
      • ‘Passing from deep snowbanks and icy air into a small narrow room with a low ceiling, a bare bulb, and a woodstove upon which simmered a pot of rose-hip tea, we commenced to be steam-cooked with hospitality.’
      • ‘The resulting cooking liquid is simmered, seasoned, and served as the accompanying sauce.’
      • ‘He's standing at the stove, simmering spaghetti sauce.’
      • ‘The natural cycle of a charcoal fire in a kettle barbecue matches the stages of cooking paella: browning the chicken, simmering the broth, and cooking the rice.’
      • ‘And then made sure I simmered the sauce long enough to ensure the potato was cooked.’
      • ‘Skim off any froth that builds on the top - simmer them until they start to break up, then pour the lentils into the vegetable mixture.’
      • ‘Try simmering it in chicken stock before you mash it, or perhaps adding it in small cubes to a bean soup.’
      • ‘The meat is gently simmered for hours and hours until very tender.’
      • ‘The slightly sweetened pumpkin is simmered until very tender, then covered with garlic-flavoured yoghurt.’
    2. 1.2 Be in a state of suppressed anger or excitement.
      ‘she was simmering with resentment’
      • ‘Still simmering with anger, Lebo bowed reluctantly.’
      • ‘He simmers with anger and embarrassment for a few days, then confronts Abe for picking on him because he's ‘not a professional.’’
      • ‘Aboriginal community leader Lyle Munro said anger in the community had been simmering long before Thomas Hickey's death.’
      • ‘Our security increasingly depends on the hope and progress of other nations now simmering in despair and resentment.’
      • ‘Would you simply simmer with resentment, or would you chalk it up, perhaps, to the colleague's superior level of experience?’
      • ‘Another reason why this family drama works is every performance is strong and simmering with resentments and disappointments.’
      • ‘Laura Dern plays a troubled housewife, simmering with a quiet anger at the state of her marriage to the laid back academic Mark Ruffalo.’
      • ‘I simmered a bit and put her remark down to her lack of understanding of classic cars.’
      • ‘Her speech certainly had the noble accent it acquired when she was simmering with suppressed anger.’
      • ‘Members of the missing Japanese citizens' families continue to simmer with anger after the three rounds of inconclusive talks.’
      • ‘It's a safe bet that the yob putting his dukes up has been soberly simmering all week, but in loosening his inhibitions, it has all come flooding out.’
      • ‘Timon stood back up, glaring down at the boy, his eyes simmering with anger.’
      be furious, be enraged, be angry, be incensed, be infuriated, be beside oneself, have lost one's temper, have a fit, boil, seethe, be boiling over, chafe, rage, be in a rage, rant, rave, rant and rave, storm, fume, smoulder, spit, breathe fire, burn
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3simmer down Become calmer and quieter.
      • ‘When the party began to simmer down, Melanie started to have a headache so she walked into the billiards room to sit on one of the un-occupied leather couches.’
      • ‘After I'd simmered down a bit and savored the sweet release of tension, I realized that I needed to acknowledge how much the thought of his departure from my life had affected me.’
      • ‘I'll try to make her simmer down a little.’
      • ‘After a period of about half an hour of escalating tension and violence from the police, things simmered down.’
      • ‘The fire, which later simmered down into a soft golden glow was almost entirely forgotten until the embers were fanned to life by a gust of wind.’
      • ‘There are certainly a lot of people on all sides of this who don't want it simmered down, who want it to keep boiling up for their own political and ideological purposes.’
      • ‘After you simmer down and consider the qualified arguments made against you, I will look forward to your reply - public or private.’
      • ‘This brawl simmered down and as referee Pat Moran was dealing with the starting culprits.’
      • ‘After the guy who had called me blasphemous simmered down enough to articulate what he liked about it, he said that ‘it's got that feel of the grand Disney movie.’’
      • ‘Straight ahead, simmering down or getting ready for another blowup?’
      • ‘Where Good was an energetic collection of unique bouncing melodies, Fiji Baby simmers down with mellow ballads.’
      • ‘I mean, there is a news hole now because the war has simmered down a bit.’
      • ‘‘Now that there's no legal basis, I think all these conflicts will simmer down,’ she said.’
      • ‘Those squalls have since simmered down just a little bit.’
      • ‘Then, almost as abruptly as it came, it simmered down following the ‘drug wars’ of the 1980s and early 1990s.’
      • ‘Eventually (after 14 cigarettes and two of those carbonated malt beverages) the hatred simmers down and turns into pity.’
      • ‘Since the chevrons went up I'd say accidents have simmered down.’
      • ‘They flashed terrifically, then quickly simmered down to pin points of dazzling white, burning ferociously.’
      • ‘The debate has simmered down now to wondering which message they lacked - the centrist or the leftist one, neither of which seems all that promising.’
      • ‘Is there continuing jubilation, or has it simmered down a lot?’
      become less angry, cool off, cool down, be placated, let someone smooth one's ruffled feathers, contain oneself, control oneself, become calmer, calm down, become quieter, quieten down, loosen up, settle, settle down
      View synonyms

noun

  • A state or temperature just below boiling point.

    ‘bring the water to a simmer’
    • ‘But just knowing her little brother was inside was enough to make her blood heat to a simmer.’
    • ‘Place the dish over medium heat, and bring the liquid to a simmer.’
    • ‘Let it come to a simmer and cook for one or two minutes, taste and add some seasoning.’
    • ‘Bring back up to a simmer, cover the pot and lower the heat.’
    • ‘In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the chicken stock to a simmer and maintain the head.’
    • ‘Reduce heat to a simmer, then stir well for five minutes, or until the oats have absorbed the liquid.’
    • ‘Reduce the heat and maintain at a simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about five minutes.’
    • ‘Reduce to a simmer and leave, approximately 30 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and the mixture starts to caramelize.’
    • ‘She came into the foyer, her arms crossed, ready to bring the boiling situation back down to a small simmer.’
    • ‘Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the blackcurrants are completely soft and the juices have run.’
    • ‘Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cook for about 25 minutes until the lentils are tender.’
    • ‘Reduce your boiling water to a simmer, and plop two raw bagels in the water.’
    • ‘Bring to a simmer, place in oven and cook until meat is tender, about two hours.’
    • ‘Once at boiling point, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for about 25 minutes or until tender, then liquidise and check seasoning.’
    • ‘To prepare beet greens, fill a large skillet with water to a depth of 1 inch and heat to a simmer.’
    • ‘Reduce the heat and maintain at a simmer until the sides begin to brown, about five minutes.’
    • ‘To finish the shrimp, in a medium saucepan, bring three cups of the warm reserved bisque to a simmer.’
    • ‘Bring to a simmer and place the chicken wings around the perimeter of the pan.’
    • ‘Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.’
    • ‘Bring to a simmer and cook to infuse flavor, about 20 minutes.’

Origin

Mid 17th century: alteration of dialect simper (in the same sense), perhaps imitative.

Pronunciation

simmer

/ˈsɪmər//ˈsimər/