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simmer

[sim-er] /ˈsɪm ər/
verb (used without object)
1.
to cook or cook in a liquid at or just below the boiling point.
2.
to make a gentle murmuring sound, as liquids cooking just below the boiling point.
3.
to be in a state of subdued or restrained activity, development, excitement, anger, etc.:
The town simmered with rumors.
verb (used with object)
4.
to keep (liquid) in a state approaching boiling.
5.
to cook in a liquid that is kept at or just below the boiling point.
noun
6.
the state or process of simmering.
Verb phrases
7.
simmer down,
  1. to reduce in volume by simmering.
  2. Slang. to become calm or quiet, as from a state of anger or turmoil:
    We waited for the audience to simmer down.
Origin
1645-1655
1645-55; alteration of earlier simper < ?
Related forms
simmeringly, adverb
resimmer, verb
unsimmered, adjective
unsimmering, adjective
Synonyms
3. See boil1 .
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for simmering
  • Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat until simmering.
  • Brazilians have the right idea, simmering it in coconut milk and cinnamon to make corn pudding.
  • Do it naturally with open windows or simmering spices.
  • They had slaughtered a sheep, and a meal of mutton had been simmering on a wood stove since we'd arrived.
  • We are all a mix, a brew that's been simmering for four billion years.
  • Specific burners for boiling, simmering and warming.
  • Presumably, he meant the communist insurgency still simmering in the border area.
  • Discontent had been simmering since the beginning of the year, after a steep increase in energy prices.
  • Race relations are mainly good, but there are simmering resentments.
  • Even political violence, long an anti-reformist cancer, is simmering down.
British Dictionary definitions for simmering

simmer

/ˈsɪmə/
verb
1.
to cook (food) gently at or just below the boiling point
2.
(intransitive) to be about to break out in rage or excitement
noun
3.
the act, sound, or state of simmering
Word Origin
C17: perhaps of imitative origin; compare German summen to hum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for simmering

simmer

v.

1650s, alteration of simperen "to simmer" (late 15c.), possibly imitative; not thought to be connected to simper (v.). OED says the change is "probably due to a feeling of phonetic appropriateness." Figurative sense, of feelings, "to be agitated" is from 1764. Opposite sense, in simmer down, first recorded 1871, probably from the notion of moving from a full boil to a mere simmer.

I must and will keep shady and quiet till Bret Harte simmers down a little. [Mark Twain, letter, 1871]
Related: Simmered; simmering. The noun meaning "a condition of simmering" is from 1809.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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