v. melt·ed, melt·ing, melts
1. To be changed from a solid to a liquid state especially by the application of heat.
2. To dissolve: Sugar melts in water.
3. To disappear or vanish gradually as if by dissolving: The crowd melted away after the rally.
4. To pass or merge imperceptibly into something else: Sea melted into sky along the horizon.
5. To become softened in feeling: Our hearts melted at the child's tears.
6. Obsolete To be overcome or crushed, as by grief, dismay, or fear.
1. To change (a solid) to a liquid state especially by the application of heat.
2. To dissolve: The tide melted our sand castle away.
3. To cause to disappear gradually; disperse.
4. To cause (units) to blend: "Here individuals of all races are melted into a new race of men" (Michel Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur).
5. To soften (someone's feelings); make gentle or tender.
1. A melted solid; a fused mass.
2. The state of being melted.
a. The act or operation of melting.
b. The quantity melted at a single operation or in one period.
4. A usually open sandwich topped with melted cheese: a tuna melt.
1. To undergo a meltdown. Used of a nuclear reactor.
2. To undergo a failure or collapse.
3. To become very angry or upset.
[Middle English melten, from Old English meltan; see mel-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.