Definition of melt in English:

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Pronunciation: /mɛlt/


1Make or become liquefied by heating: [with object]: the hot metal melted the wax (as adjective melted) asparagus with melted butter [no object]: place under a hot grill until the cheese has melted
More example sentences
  • This snow didn't melt as soon as it touched you… it stuck to your skin and sat there before slowly melting away.
  • The blizzards had ceased three days ago and the remaining snow was swiftly melting away in the face of the late January sun.
  • 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.
liquefy, thaw, unfreeze, defrost, soften, run, flux, fuse, render, clarify, dissolve, deliquesce
1.1 [with object] (melt something down) Melt a metal article so as to reuse the raw material: beautiful objects are being melted down and sold for scrap
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Other companies take scrap metal and melt it down for use in lowgrade metal products like garden furniture and sign posts.
1.2 [no object] Dissolve in liquid: add 400g sugar and boil until the sugar melts
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Braise the pear on a slow fire until the crystal sugar melts.
1.3 [no object] informal (Of a person) suffer extreme heat.
Example sentences
  • Close by was a 90C sauna and steam room where I enjoyed almost melting to death.
  • Well, some are, but that's not why they're melting in High Barnet on the hottest day of the year.
  • Stains around her body show that she had melted to the carpet as a result of the humid weather conditions.
2Make or become more tender or loving: [with object]: Richard gave her a smile which melted her heart [no object]: she was so beautiful that I melted
More example sentences
  • I would just look into his beautiful eyes and melt.
  • Jadelyn followed his gaze and nearly melted at the tenderness with which he looked at his sister and how protective he was of her.
  • 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.
soften, touch, disarm, mollify, relax, affect, move
3 [no object, with adverbial] Disappear or disperse: the compromise was accepted and the opposition melted away
More example sentences
  • Without another word, he vanished, melted away into the shadows, which slowly began to dissolve.
  • 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.
vanish, vanish into thin air, disappear, fade away;
dissipate, disperse, go away, peter out, pass, dissolve, evaporate, evanesce
3.1 (melt into) Change or merge imperceptibly into (another form or state): the cheers melted into gasps of admiration
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.


1An act or period of melting: the precipitation falls as snow and is released during the spring melt
More example sentences
  • This could translate into further storage improvements for Lake McConaughy as we move into the spring melt period.
  • With a spring melt, ipirautiik, waterproof boots, replace the furry boots.
  • Moreover, as the Arctic warms, the length of the melt period increases, which in turn thins the ice and further hastens its retreat.
1.1 [mass noun] Metal or other material in a melted condition.
Example sentences
  • The blue colour of smalt derives from the addition of cobalt oxide to a potash glass melt during manufacture.
  • Mullite crystals grow out of a complex silicate melt - porcelain kilns never attain pure silica's melting point.
  • He argued that all other granites represent hybrid magma formed by reaction of basaltic melt with crustal metamorphic rocks.
1.2A quantity of metal melted at one operation.
Example sentences
  • 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.
1.3 [with modifier] North American A sandwich, hamburger, or other dish containing or topped with melted cheese: a tuna melt
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Patty, the vegetarian, shared a tuna melt with Molly and later they felt ill.


melt in the mouth

(Of food) be deliciously light or tender and need little chewing: they ate lamb which melted in the mouth
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Phrasal verbs

melt down

1Collapse or break down disastrously: many expected him to melt down at the first sign of trouble
More example sentences
  • In spite of history-making efforts by governments around the world, financial markets everywhere are still melting down.
  • Next thing you know, her campaign melts down.
  • Just letting Citigroup melt down could have been catastrophic.
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
More example sentences
  • Many expected him to melt down at the first sign of trouble.



Example sentences
  • APP is the meltable, wax-like phase of polypropylene; its low crystallinity renders it compatible with an asphalt matrix.
  • It's a snap to make decorative soap for gifts or your own bathroom by using meltable blocks of soap, such as Soap Expressions, from a craft store.


Pronunciation: /ˈmɛltə/
Example sentences
  • Street crews have been dumping the snow into large melters and then into the sewer system.
  • Our bags laden with a few hundred dollars worth of scented wax melters and ridiculously overprice chocolate we set out for home.
  • Your body isn't the only winner; since this workout summons your full concentration, it's also a great stress melter.


Example sentences
  • The Chef Combo is a perfect choice for the dualistic appetite: a charbroiled beef kabob and a meltingly tender chicken kabob.
  • Described as fast, furious meltingly lyrical and full of physical poetry, it is one of the most completely brilliant theatrical experiences imaginable.
  • Reduce the heat slightly and cook, still uncovered, for another ten minutes, or until the onions are meltingly soft and most of the liquid has evaporated.


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.

  • mollusc from late 18th century:

    Most molluscs have hard shells, but they need these because they are so soft underneath, which gives them their name, from Latin mollis ‘soft’. This also lies behind mollify (Late Middle English) originally to make soft, emollient (mid 17th century), and share an Indo-European root with Germanic melt (Old English) and mild (Old English).

Words that rhyme with melt

belt, Celt, dealt, dwelt, felt, gelt, knelt, misdealt, pelt, Scheldt, smelt, spelt, svelte, veld, welt

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: melt

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