March 27, 2012
seethe (verb)
\SEETHE\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to be upset or in a state of great excitement
How do you use it?
"Usually a remark like that would have caused Martha to seethe and feel as though acid were coursing through her veins, heading straight to her heart to shrivel it. But, surprisingly, it didn't affect her that way now." (Kevin Henkes, Olive's Ocean)
Are you a word wiz?

We have a confession, but it's nothing to seethe over. "Seethe" has another meaning, other than the one we've already told you about. Which of the following do you think it is?

"Seethe" is an old word, and long before it meant what it means in the sentence from Olive's Ocean it meant "to boil." That meaning is rare now, but the word is still sometimes used to mean "to churn or foam as if boiling." Often when people use this meaning of the word, they use the -ing form of the word, and put it before a noun. Roald Dahl did just that in the book James and the Giant Peach: "By lunchtime, the whole place was a seething mass of men, women, and children all pushing and shoving to get a glimpse of this miraculous fruit."
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