Also, full steam ahead. As fast and as strongly as possible. For example, There's only one way we'll get there on time, so go full speed ahead, or Production would go full steam ahead as soon as the orders were confirmed. It is also put as with a full head of steam, as in She was traveling with a full head of steam—she was due there at noon. These expressions all allude to the steam engine, where full steam signifies that a boiler has developed maximum pressure. They became well known through an order allegedly given by Admiral David Farragut at the battle of Mobile Bay (1864): “Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
How to use full speed ahead in a sentence
The bridge had seen her too and put the engines full speed ahead.The Beach of Dreams | H. De Vere Stacpoole
But he rang for full speed ahead and ordered the quartermaster to aim her into the north, knowing that land lay in that direction.Blow The Man Down | Holman Day
At the second jerk the wire broke, but not until two bells had sounded in the engine room—the signal for full speed ahead.Captain Scraggs | Peter B. Kyne
"full speed ahead" was the order, and soon the submarine regained her balance.The Childrens' Story of the War, Volume 4 (of 10) | James Edward Parrott
Bob shut off his power temporarily and then, with a quick yank, pulled the lever to full speed ahead.The Motor Boys Overland | Clarence Young