verb (used without object)
to cook or cook in a liquid at or just below the boiling point.
to make a gentle murmuring sound, as liquids cooking just below the boiling point.
to be in a state of subdued or restrained activity, development, excitement, anger, etc.: The town simmered with rumors.
verb (used with object)
to keep (liquid) in a state approaching boiling.
to cook in a liquid that is kept at or just below the boiling point.
the state or process of simmering.
Verb phrases
simmer down,
to reduce in volume by simmering.
Slang. to become calm or quiet, as from a state of anger or turmoil: We waited for the audience to simmer down.

1645–55; alteration of earlier simper < ?

simmeringly, adverb
resimmer, verb
unsimmered, adjective
unsimmering, adjective

3. See boil1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
simmer (ˈsɪmə)
1.  to cook (food) gently at or just below the boiling point
2.  (intr) to be about to break out in rage or excitement
3.  the act, sound, or state of simmering
[C17: perhaps of imitative origin; compare German summen to hum]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1650s, alteration of simperen "to simmer" (late 15c.), possibly of imitative origin. Figurative sense, of feelings, "to be agitated" is from 1764. Opposite sense, in simmer down, first recorded 1871.
"I must and will keep shady and quiet till Bret Harte simmers down a little." [Mark Twain, letter, 1871]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for a couple of hours.
Cover and put the heat on high until the contents begin to boil then set to simmer on low.
Bring to a boil, cover, then simmer for fifteen minutes.
Gradually add the grits, return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
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