Idioms

    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
Related forms

Definition for let off steam (2 of 2)

Origin of blow

2
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)

blow

1
/ (bləʊ) /

verb blows, blowing, blew or blown

noun

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)

blow

2
/ (bləʊ) /

noun

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
  1. to fight
  2. 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)

blow

3
/ (bləʊ) /

verb blows, blowing, blew or blown

(intr) (of a plant or flower) to blossom or open out
(tr) to produce (flowers)

noun

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)

steam

/ (stiːm) /

noun

verb

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

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)

blow


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

also see:

  • 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)

steam


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.