boil(s) down to

Meaning(s)

1. reduce or simplify something to its most basic or important aspect

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the issue boils down to

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The expression 'boils down to' takes the literal meaning of reducing and concentrating a liquid through boiling, and transfers it to the figurative reduction of something to its most essential aspect. For example, if a situation or problem boils down to something then that is the main reason for it. It is commonly used in both a social and professional context and is similar to the phrase 'in a nutshell.'

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. Essentially, our options boiled down to either continuing to pay a large amount of rent every month, or taking the big step of buying a house of our own.
  2. The situation boils down to this, either I need to find a second job or we need to considerably cut down on spending.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. Your report is too long. You need to cut out the unnecessary business jargon and boil it down to about 2000 words.
  2. The issue boils down to one thing - money. If we can't secure funding then the plan will be dead in the water.

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