• Extract the essence from (something) by heating or boiling it.

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Example Sentences

“The first step in the recipe is to decoct the flavor from the onions by simmering them slowly in butter.”

“I decoct overripe fruit to give my bread a rich banana flavor.”

“I make holiday gifts by decocting vanilla and peppermint extracts and bottling them in pretty containers.”

Word Origin

Latin, mid-16th century

Why this word?

The word “decoct” is almost exclusively found in the kitchen. It means “to extract the essence (flavor) from something by heating or boiling it.” When a bundle of herbs is added to a stew, then removed after simmering, that decocts the flavor of the herbs but a diner doesn’t have to deal with leaves and stems in their meal. Or when fruit and sugar are added to a pot of water, and it turns into a thickened syrup infused with flavor, that’s a decoction (the noun form of the term). The Latin verb “decoquere” is formed from “de-” (meaning “down”) and “coquere” (meaning “to cook”).

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