verb (used without object), melt·ed, melt·ed or mol·ten, melt·ing.

  1. to become liquefied by warmth or heat, as ice, snow, butter, or metal.
  2. to become liquid; dissolve: Let the cough drop melt in your mouth.
  3. to pass, dwindle, or fade gradually (often followed by away): His fortune slowly melted away.
  4. to pass, change, or blend gradually (often followed by into): Night melted into day.
  5. to become softened in feeling by pity, sympathy, love, or the like: The tyrant’s heart would not melt.
  6. Obsolete. to be subdued or overwhelmed by sorrow, dismay, etc.

verb (used with object), melt·ed, melt·ed or mol·ten, melt·ing.

  1. to reduce to a liquid state by warmth or heat; fuse: Fire melts ice.
  2. to cause to pass away or fade.
  3. to cause to pass, change, or blend gradually.
  4. to soften in feeling, as a person or the heart.


  1. the act or process of melting; state of being melted.
  2. something that is melted.
  3. a quantity melted at one time.
  4. a sandwich or other dish topped with melted cheese: a tuna melt.

verb melts, melting, melted, melted or molten (ˈməʊltən)

  1. to liquefy (a solid) or (of a solid) to become liquefied, as a result of the action of heat
  2. to become or make liquid; dissolvecakes that melt in the mouth
  3. (often foll by away) to disappear; fade
  4. (foll by down) to melt (metal scrap) for reuse
  5. (often foll by into) to blend or cause to blend gradually
  6. to make or become emotional or sentimental; soften


  1. the act or process of melting
  2. something melted or an amount melted

v.Old English meltan “become liquid, consume by fire, burn up” (class III strong verb; past tense mealt, past participle molten), from Proto-Germanic *meltanan; fused with Old English gemæltan (Anglian), gemyltan (West Saxon) “make liquid,” from Proto-Germanic *gamaltijanan (cf. Old Norse melta “to digest”), both from PIE *meldh-, (cf. Sanskrit mrduh “soft, mild,” Greek meldein “to melt, make liquid,” Latin mollis “soft, mild”), from root *mel- “soft,” with derivatives referring to soft or softened (especially ground) materials (see mild). Figurative use by c.1200. Related: Melted; melting. Of food, to melt in (one’s) mouth is from 1690s. Melting pot is from 1540s; figurative use from 1855; popularized with reference to America by play “The Melting Pot” by Israel Zangwill (1908). n.1854, “molten metal,” from melt (v.). In reference to a type of sandwich topped by melted cheese, 1980, American English.

  1. To change from a solid to a liquid state by heating or being heated with sufficient energy at the melting point. See also heat of fusion.

In addition to the idiom beginning with melt

  • melt in one’s mouth
  • also see:

  • butter wouldn’t melt
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