- a device that, when actuated by a gas or vapor pressure above a predetermined level, opens and allows the gas or vapor to escape until its pressure is reduced to a pressure equal to or below that of the predetermined level.Compare relief valve.
- a harmless outlet for emotion, tension, etc.
Origin of safety valve
First recorded in 1805–15
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for safety valve
It was only a kind of safety-valve by which the detective let off his superfluous steam.Henry Dunbar
M. E. Braddon
The boiler is shown at A and the safety-valve and filler at L.
The safety-valve and filling plug are both shown in Fig. 51.
It was a safety-valve which had worked satisfactorily at the right moment.The Twins of Suffering Creek
It is impossible to over-estimate the value of this safety-valve.The Soul of a People
- a valve in a pressure vessel that allows fluid to escape when a predetermined level of pressure has been reached
- a harmless outlet for emotion, energy, tension, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012