Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?


[pahr-boil] /ˈpɑrˌbɔɪl/
verb (used with object)
to boil partially or for a short time; precook.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English parboylen to boil partly, (rarely) to boil fully < Middle French parboillir < Late Latin perbullīre to boil through and through (see per-, boil); change of meaning by confusion of par- with part Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for parboil
  • parboil roe in salted, acidulated water twenty minutes.
  • parboil the purslane for a few minutes, then layer purslane and sliced eggs as many times as possible, ending with the purslane.
  • Temporarily, the cartons are burned at a local rice mill and used for fuel to parboil unhusked rice.
  • parboil cabbage in a large pot, removing leafs as they fall off into the water and are tender.
British Dictionary definitions for parboil


verb (transitive)
to boil until partially cooked, often before further cooking
to subject to uncomfortable heat
Word Origin
C15: from Old French parboillir, from Late Latin perbullīre to boil thoroughly (see per-, boil1); modern meaning due to confusion of par- with part
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for parboil

late 14c., "to boil partially;" mid-15c., "to boil thoroughly," from Old French parboillir "to boil thoroughly," from Medieval Latin perbullire "to boil thoroughly," from Latin per "through, thoroughly" + bullire "to boil" (see boil (v.)). Main modern meaning "boil partially" is by mistaken association of the prefix with part. Related: Parboiled; parboiling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for parboil

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for parboil

Scrabble Words With Friends