Nearby words

  1. stealth,
  2. stealth bomber,
  3. stealth tax,
  4. stealth technology,
  5. stealthy,
  6. steam bath,
  7. steam beer,
  8. steam boiler,
  9. steam chest,
  10. steam coal


    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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for steam

British Dictionary definitions for steam



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
  1. (of a ship, etc) to work up a sufficient head of steam in a boiler to drive an engine
  2. informalto 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

Word Origin and History for steam
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for steam



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 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.