boil over

See also: boilover



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boil over (third-person singular simple present boils over, present participle boiling over, simple past and past participle boiled over)

  1. (intransitive) To boil to such an extent as to overflow its container.
    I forgot about the rice and it boiled over.
  2. (idiomatic, of anger, etc.) To reach the point where aggressive action is taken.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 13, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      He b'iled right over, and the tongue-lashing he give that boss Right Liver beat anything I ever listened to. There was heap of Scriptur' language in it, and more brimstone than you'd find in a match factory.
    • 2013, Phil McNulty, Liverpool 1-0 Man Utd, BBC Sport, 1 September 2013:
      But as the half progressed, Liverpool's pressure and high-tempo passing game increased United's frustration and it threatened to boil over on the stroke of half-time when Van Persie, who had already been booked, was involved in angry verbal exchanges with several Liverpool players, particularly Gerrard.