Alternative formsEdit


From Middle English sethen, from Old English sēoþan (to seethe, boil, cook in a liquid; subject to a fiery ordeal, try as with fire; subject to great pain, afflict, afflict grievously, disturb; prepare food for the mind; subject the mind with occupations; be troubled in mind, brood), from Proto-Germanic *seuþaną (to seethe, boil), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂sewt-, *h₂sut-, *h₂sew- (to move about, roil, seethe). Akin to Scots seth, seith (to seethe), Dutch zieden (to seethe, boil), Low German seden (to seethe), German sieden (to seethe, boil), Danish syde (to seethe, boil), Swedish sjuda (to seethe, boil), Norwegian Bokmål syde (to seethe, boil), Icelandic sjóða (to seethe, boil), West Frisian siede (to boil). Related also to Gothic 𐍃𐌰𐌿𐌸𐍃 (sauþs, burnt offering, sacrifice). Other cognates include Albanian zjej (boil, seethe).


  • IPA(key): /siːð/
  • (file)


seethe (third-person singular simple present seethes, present participle seething, simple past seethed or (archaic) sod, past participle seethed or (archaic) sodden)

  1. (transitive, archaic) To boil.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, chapter ix, in Le Morte Darthur, book VI:
      A none syr kay sayd / here is good mete for vs for one meale / for we had not many a day no good repast / And so that veneson was rosted baken and soden / and so after souper somme abode there al that nyghte
    • 1933, Herbert Danby, The Mishnah, p.289:
      When he had cooked or seethed the Peace-offering, the priest took the sodden shoulder of the ram and one unleavened cake out of the basket and one unleavened wafer and put them upon the hands of the Nazirite and waved them.
    • 1960, James Enge, Travellers' Rest:
      Seethe some of that in Gar Vindisc's good water and bring it to us. Bread, too, as long as you don't make it from shellbacks.”
  2. (intransitive, of a liquid) To boil vigorously.
  3. (intransitive, of a liquid) To foam in an agitated manner, as if boiling.
  4. (intransitive, of a person, figuratively) To be in an agitated or angry mental state, as if boiling.
  5. (intransitive, of a place, figuratively) To buzz with activity.
    • 2011, Kate Kingsley, Kiss & Break Up (page 201)
      Shock Box was the skankiest bar in Hasted, complete with a cheesy jukebox, cheap pints, and a sweaty club in the basement that seethed every weekend with a superhorny boarding-school crowd.

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Related termsEdit