If a material has a melting temperature range instead of a melting point, then the dedicated Dutch word "smelttraject" applies. Similarly, "kooktraject" indicates a boiling temperature range instead of a boiling point. Usually these ranges apply to mixtures instead of pure substances. As linked above, these terms even have their own dedicated Wikipedia pages. However, have I never found explicit terms for these phenomena in English. Do they exist? The term "melting / boiling temperature range" can be used, but I am not sure if that is specific enough.

Likely example sentence (not sure because I am looking for the translation in the first place):

The boiling range of the liquid starts at 100°C and ends at 105°C.

(Meaning that the boiling starts at 100°C and ends at 105°C. The sentence does not have the intent to say that this mixture has a boiling point that lies somewhere between 100°C and 105°C. The context here is mainly chemistry.).

The translation does not exist in

translate.com did mention "melting range" and "cooking range", but I doubt if that is technically correct because usually the term "boiling" applies instead to liquid vaporization.

  • You have not given enough context, or, more importantly, the sentence that you intend to use. For example, beef can be cooked between 70 deg C and 240 Deg C - and this would be the cooking/temperature range for various cuts of beef. Melting seems to be a different prospect as each frozen thing or solid has a fixed melting point.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 20:37
  • I would suggest you ask this question on SE Physics. As you must know, English doesn’t form aggregate nouns like Germanic languages, so on EL&U all we can say is that your English phrases would work as there is no single word in everyday use. There may be a technical term, but here is not the best place to ask.
    – David
    Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 20:55
  • @Greybeard: An example sentence/context was added. Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 21:34
  • @David: Yes indeed - it's probably not a single word in English, that's why a "term" was sought for, i.e. a word or phrase. Unfortunately, at SE Physics, people may refer back to here, creating an undesired loop. Commented Dec 16, 2021 at 21:38
  • @Greybeard the mention of beef is a diversion. The question is about mixtures of compounds that have different melting or boiling points. As such, the most volatile start to boil off at a lower temperature than the least volatile. Similarly with mixtures of material with different melting points. The questions asks for names of these well-defined ranges of temperatures, not about cooking. Your assertion about melting is only true in the case of a single compound. Where several are mixed, the melting of each happens at different temperatures. This underlies the performance of automatic vents.
    – Anton
    Commented Dec 17, 2021 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


The term boiling range is used in chemistry and the oil industry. Distillation range is also used, particularly for hydrocarbons.

As an example, a presentation on petroleum science from Penn State says

Complex mixtures such as crude oil, or petroleum products with thousands of different compounds, boil over a temperature range as opposed to having a single point for a pure compound. The boiling range covers a temperature interval from the initial boiling point (IBP), defined as the temperature at which the first drop of distillation product is obtained, to a final boiling point, or endpoint (EP) when the highest-boiling compounds evaporate.

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