Definition of simmer in English:


Syllabification: sim·mer
Pronunciation: /ˈsimər


[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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reduce heat immediately to keep the water simmering, but not boiling.
boil gently, cook gently, bubble, stew
1.1 [with object] Keep (food) just below boiling when cooking or heating it: simmer the sauce gently until thickened
More example sentences
  • The resulting cooking liquid is simmered, seasoned, and served as the accompanying sauce.
  • He's standing at the stove, simmering spaghetti sauce.
  • 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?
1.2Be in a state of suppressed anger or excitement: she was simmering with resentment
More example sentences
  • Another reason why this family drama works is every performance is strong and simmering with resentments and disappointments.
  • Her speech certainly had the noble accent it acquired when she was simmering with suppressed anger.
  • He simmers with anger and embarrassment for a few days, then confronts Abe for picking on him because he's ‘not a professional.’
be furious, be enraged, be angry, be incensed, be infuriated, seethe, fume, brim, smolder
informal be steamed up, be hot under the collar, stew
1.3 (simmer down) Become calmer and quieter.
More example sentences
  • Where Good was an energetic collection of unique bouncing melodies, Fiji Baby simmers down with mellow ballads.
  • Eventually (after 14 cigarettes and two of those carbonated malt beverages) the hatred simmers down and turns into pity.
  • Straight ahead, simmering down or getting ready for another blowup?
become less angry, cool off/down, be placated, control oneself, become calmer, calm down, become quieter, quiet down
informal chill (out), chillax, take a chill pill


[in singular] Back to top  
A state or temperature just below the boiling point: bring the water to a simmer
More example sentences
  • Reduce your boiling water to a simmer, and plop two raw bagels in the water.
  • But just knowing her little brother was inside was enough to make her blood heat to a simmer.
  • Once at boiling point, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for about 25 minutes or until tender, then liquidise and check seasoning.


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

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