Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To cook partially by boiling for a brief period: parboiled and then sautéed the new potatoes.
  • transitive v. To subject to intense, often uncomfortable heat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To boil food briefly so that it is partly cooked.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To boil or cook thoroughly.
  • transitive v. To boil in part; to cook partially by boiling.
  • transitive v. To do (something) only part way, or incompletely. Also used intransitively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To boil thoroughly.
  • To boil slightly or in a moderate degree; half-boil.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cook (vegetables) briefly

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English parboilen, to boil partly, to boil thoroughly (influenced by part, part), from Old French parboillir, to boil thoroughly, from Late Latin perbullīre : Latin per-, thoroughly; see per- + Latin bullīre, to boil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French parbouillir ("to boil thoroughly"), from Medieval Latin perbulliō, from Latin per ("thoroughly") + bulliō ("I boil"). Sense “to boil partially” (c.1440), rather than original “to boil thoroughly” is by corruption: associating the prefix with part (from Latin pars ("part")) rather than per.

Examples

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