[ steem ]
/ stim /
water in the form of an invisible gas or vapor.
water changed to this form by boiling, extensively used for the generation of mechanical power, for heating purposes, etc.
the mist formed when the gas or vapor from boiling water condenses in the air.
an exhalation of a vapor or mist.
Informal. power or energy.
verb (used without object)
to emit or give off steam or vapor.
to rise or pass off in the form of steam or vapor.
to become covered with condensed steam, as a window or other surface (often followed by up).
to generate or produce steam, as in a boiler.
to move or travel by the agency of steam.
to move rapidly or evenly: He steamed out of the room.
Informal. to be angry or show anger: Fans are still steaming from Monday night’s sloppy 5-4 loss.
verb (used with object)
to expose to or treat with steam, as in order to heat, cook, soften, renovate, or the like.
to emit or exhale (steam or vapor).
Informal. to cause to become irked or angry (often followed by up).
to convey by the agency of steam: to steam the ship safely into port.
heated by or heating with steam: a steam radiator.
propelled by or propelling with a steam engine.
operated by steam.
conducting steam: a steam line.
bathed with or affected by steam.
of or relating to steam.
Let’s vs. LetsIn the comments of our Word Fact post about the difference between affect and effect, Carolyn K. wrote: Please, please, please, I beg you to do Lets vs. Let’s. Every sports team’s media/PR department does it wrong, and it drives me absolutely out of my mind! This lets us address another great topic, since these terms are often confused—let’s figure it out! Lets without an …
blow/let off steam, Informal. to give vent to one's repressed emotions, especially by talking or behaving in an unrestrained manner: Don't take her remarks too seriously—she was just blowing off steam.
Origin of steam
before 1000; Middle English steme, Old English stēam; cognate with Dutch stoom
steam·less, adjectiveout·steam, verb (used with object)pre·steam, adjective, verb (used with object)un·steamed, adjective
Definition for let off steam (2 of 2)
[ bloh ]
/ bloʊ /
verb (used without object), blew, blown, blow·ing.
(of the wind or air) to be in motion.
to move along, carried by or as by the wind: Dust seemed to blow through every crack in the house.
to produce or emit a current of air, as with the mouth or a bellows: Blow on your hands to warm them.
(of a horn, trumpet, etc.) to give out sound.
to make a blowing sound; whistle: The siren blew just as we rounded the corner.
(of horses) to breathe hard or quickly; pant.
Informal. to boast; brag: He kept blowing about his medals.
Zoology. (of a whale) to spout.
(of a fuse, light bulb, vacuum tube, tire, etc.) to burst, melt, stop functioning, or be destroyed by exploding, overloading, etc. (often followed by out): A fuse blew just as we sat down to dinner. The rear tire blew out.
to burst from internal pressure: Poorly sealed cans will often blow.
Slang. to leave; depart.
verb (used with object), blew, blown, blow·ing.
to drive by means of a current of air: A sudden breeze blew the smoke into the house.
to spread or make widely known: Growing panic blew the rumor about.
to drive a current of air upon.
to clear or empty by forcing air through: Try blowing your nose.
to shape (glass, smoke, etc.) with a current of air: to blow smoke rings.
to cause to sound, as by a current of air: Blow your horn at the next crossing.
Jazz. to play (a musical instrument of any kind).
to cause to explode (often followed by up, to bits, etc.): A mine blew the ship to bits.
to burst, melt, burn out, or destroy by exploding, overloading, etc. (often followed by out): to blow a tire; blow a fuse.
to destroy; demolish (usually followed by down, over, etc.): The windstorm blew down his house.
- to spend money on.
- to squander; spend quickly: He blew a fortune on racing cars.
- to waste; lose: The team blew the lead by making a bad play.
Informal. to mishandle, ruin, botch; make a mess of; bungle: With one stupid mistake he blew the whole project. It was your last chance and you blew it!
Slang. to damn: Blow the cost!
to put (a horse) out of breath by fatigue.
Slang. to depart from: to blow town.
Slang: Vulgar. to perform fellatio on.
Slang. to smoke (marijuana or other drugs).
a blast of air or wind: to clean machinery with a blow.
Informal. a violent windstorm, gale, hurricane, or the like: one of the worst blows we ever had around here.
an act of producing a blast of air, as in playing a wind instrument: a few discordant blows by the bugler.
- a blast of air forced through a converter, as in the production of steel or copper.
- the stage of the production process during which this blast is used.
Civil Engineering. boil1(def 12).
blow away, Slang.
- to kill, especially by gunfire: The gang threatened to blow away anyone who talked to the police.
- to defeat decisively; trounce: She blew her opponent away in three straight sets.
- to overwhelm with emotion, astonishment, etc.: Good poetry just blows me away.
blow down, Metallurgy. to suspend working of (a blast furnace) by smelting the existing charge with a diminishing blast.
- Slang. to arrive at a place, especially unexpectedly: My uncle just blew in from Sacramento.
- Metallurgy. to begin operations in (a blast furnace).
- to allow steam to be released.
- Informal. to reduce or release tension, as by loud talking.
- Informal. to ignore, evade, or treat as unimportant: I mentioned his insulting remark, and he just blew the whole thing off.
- Informal. to not go to or participate in: He blew off his first-period class three times that week.
- Informal. to fail to meet (someone) as planned without alerting the person beforehand: I waited 20 minutes before I realized my sister had blown me off.
- Informal. to end a romantic or other relationship with: He blew me off after our third date.
- to become extinguished: The candles blew out at once.
- to lose force or cease: The storm has blown itself out.
- (of an oil or gas well) to lose oil or gas uncontrollably.
- Metallurgy. to blow down and clean (a blast furnace) in order to shut down.
- to pass away; subside: The storm blew over in five minutes.
- to be forgotten: The scandal will eventually blow over.
- to come into being: A storm suddenly blew up.
- to explode: The ship blew up.
- to cause to explode: to blow up a bridge.
- to exaggerate; enlarge: He blew up his own role in his account of the project.
- Informal. to lose one's temper: When he heard she had quit school, he blew up.
- to fill with air; inflate: to blow up a tire.
- Photography. to make an enlarged reproduction of.
- Mathematics. (of a function) to become infinite.
Origin of blow2
before 1000; Middle English blowen (v.), Old English blāwan; cognate with Latin flāre to blow
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for let off steam (1 of 4)
/ (bləʊ) /
verb blows, blowing, blew or blown
(of a current of air, the wind, etc) to be or cause to be in motion
(intr) to move or be carried by or as if by wind or aira feather blew in through the window
to expel (air, cigarette smoke, etc) through the mouth or nose
to force or cause (air, dust, etc) to move (into, in, over, etc) by using an instrument or by expelling breath
(intr) to breathe hard; pant
(sometimes foll by up) to inflate with air or the breath
(intr) (of wind, a storm, etc) to make a roaring or whistling sound
to cause (a whistle, siren, etc) to sound by forcing air into it, as a signal, or (of a whistle, etc) to sound thus
(tr) to force air from the lungs through (the nose) to clear out mucus or obstructing matter
(often foll by up, down, in, etc) to explode, break, or disintegrate completelythe bridge blew down in the gale
electronics to burn out (a fuse, valve, etc) because of excessive current or (of a fuse, valve, etc) to burn out
blow a fuse slang to lose one's temper
(intr) (of a whale) to spout water or air from the lungs
(tr) to wind (a horse) by making it run excessively
to cause (a wind instrument) to sound by forcing one's breath into the mouthpiece, or (of such an instrument) to sound in this way
(intr) jazz slang to play in a jam session
(intr) (of flies) to lay eggs (in)
to shape (glass, ornaments, etc) by forcing air or gas through the material when molten
(intr) mainly Scot, Australian and NZ to boast or brag
- to spend (money) freely
- US to treat or entertain
(tr) slang to use (an opportunity) ineffectively
slang to go suddenly away (from)
(tr) slang to expose or betray (a person or thing meant to be kept secret)
(tr) US slang to inhale (a drug)
(intr) slang to masturbate
past participle blowed informal another word for damn I'll be blowed; blow it!
draughts another word for huff (def. 4)
blow hot and cold to vacillate
blow a kiss or blow kisses to kiss one's hand, then blow across it as if to carry the kiss through the air to another person
blow one's own trumpet to boast of one's own skills or good qualities
blow someone's mind slang
- (of a drug, esp LSD) to alter someone's mental state
- esp US and Canadian to astound or surprise someone
blow one's top, esp US and Canadian blow one's stack or blow one's lid informal to lose one's temper
the act or an instance of blowing
the sound produced by blowing
a blast of air or wind
- a stage in the Bessemer process in which air is blasted upwards through molten pig iron
- the quantity of metal treated in a Bessemer converter
- a rush of air into a mine
- the collapse of a mine roof
jazz slang a jam session
Word Origin for blow
Old English blāwan, related to Old Norse blǣr gust of wind, Old High German blāen, Latin flāre
British Dictionary definitions for let off steam (2 of 4)
/ (bləʊ) /
a powerful or heavy stroke with the fist, a weapon, etc
at one blow or at a blow by or with only one action; all at one time
a sudden setback; unfortunate eventto come as a blow
come to blows
- to fight
- to result in a fight
an attacking actiona blow for freedom
Australian and NZ a stroke of the shears in sheep-shearing
Word Origin for blow
C15: probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German bliuwan to beat
British Dictionary definitions for let off steam (3 of 4)
/ (bləʊ) /
verb blows, blowing, blew or blown
(intr) (of a plant or flower) to blossom or open out
(tr) to produce (flowers)
a mass of blossoms
the state or period of blossoming (esp in the phrase in full blow)
Word Origin for blow
Old English blōwan; related to Old Frisian blōia to bloom, Old High German bluoen, Latin flōs flower; see bloom 1
British Dictionary definitions for let off steam (4 of 4)
/ (stiːm) /
the gas or vapour into which water is changed when boiled
the mist formed when such gas or vapour condenses in the atmosphere
any vaporous exhalation
informal power, energy, or speed
get up steam
- (of a ship, etc) to work up a sufficient head of steam in a boiler to drive an engine
- informal to go quickly
let off steam informal to release pent-up energy or emotions
under one's own steam without the assistance of others
Australian slang cheap wine
(modifier) driven, operated, heated, powered, etc, by steama steam radiator
(modifier) treated by steamsteam ironed; steam cleaning
(modifier) jocular old-fashioned; outmodedsteam radio
to emit or be emitted as steam
(intr) to generate steam, as a boiler, etc
(intr) to move or travel by steam power, as a ship, etc
(intr) informal to proceed quickly and sometimes forcefully
to cook or be cooked in steam
(tr) to treat with steam or apply steam to, as in cleaning, pressing clothes, etc
See also steam up
Word Origin for steam
Old English; related to Dutch stoom steam, perhaps to Old High German stioban to raise dust, Gothic stubjus dust
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
Science definitions for let off steam
[ stēm ]
Water in its gaseous state, especially at a temperature above the boiling point of water (above 100°C, or 212°F, at sea level). See Note at vapor.
A mist of condensed water vapor.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Idioms and Phrases with let off steam (1 of 3)
let off steam
see blow off steam.
Idioms and Phrases with let off steam (2 of 3)
In addition to the idioms beginning with blow
- blow a fuse
- blow away
- blow by blow
- blow hot and cold
- blow in
- blow it
- blow off
- blow off steam
- blow one's brains out
- blow one's cool
- blow one's cover
- blow one's mind
- blow one's own horn
- blow one's top
- blow out
- blow over
- blow sky-high
- blow someone to
- blow the lid off
- blow the whistle on
- blow up
- at one stroke (blow)
- body blow
- come to blows
- keep (blow) one's cool
- low blow
- way the wind blows
Idioms and Phrases with let off steam (3 of 3)
see blow off steam; full speed (steam) ahead; get up steam; run out of steam; under one's own steam.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.