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Difference between Boil something down and Boil something up

boil something down—(coll.) state smth. briefly; summarize smth.:

  • I have tried to state briefly, to boil down, the most important area of conflict.

boil something up

1. boil or wash clothes:

  • There was a grand jungle by a small, clean river where they boiled up their verminous clothes.

2. make tea:

  • In modern India, tea is usually boiled up very strong with milk and lots of sugar.

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase bring something to the boil—cause smth. such as a problem to reach an urgent state:

  • Issues concerning the intellectual property rights have been simmering since the 1990s. Developments in communications technology have brought these issues to the boil.

Cf.: go off the boil—(coll.) cease to be active or interesting:

  • The housing issue has gone off the boil recently, despite attempts to revive public interest.