View synonyms for steam



[ steem ]


  1. water in the form of an invisible gas or vapor.
  2. water changed to this form by boiling, extensively used for the generation of mechanical power, for heating purposes, etc.
  3. the mist formed when the gas or vapor from boiling water condenses in the air.
  4. an exhalation of a vapor or mist.
  5. Informal. power or energy.

verb (used without object)

  1. to emit or give off steam or vapor.
  2. to rise or pass off in the form of steam or vapor.
  3. to become covered with condensed steam, as a window or other surface (often followed by up ).
  4. to generate or produce steam, as in a boiler.
  5. to move or travel by the agency of steam.
  6. to move rapidly or evenly:

    He steamed out of the room.

  7. Informal. to be angry or show anger:

    Fans are still steaming from Monday night’s sloppy 5-4 loss.

verb (used with object)

  1. to expose to or treat with steam, as in order to heat, cook, soften, renovate, or the like.
  2. to emit or exhale (steam or vapor).
  3. Informal. to cause to become irked or angry (often followed by up ).
  4. to convey by the agency of steam:

    to steam the ship safely into port.


  1. heated by or heating with steam:

    a steam radiator.

  2. propelled by or propelling with a steam engine.
  3. operated by steam.
  4. conducting steam:

    a steam line.

  5. bathed with or affected by steam.
  6. of or relating to steam.



[ steem ]


  1. science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics, considered as a group of academic or career fields (often used attributively):

    Engaging students in STEAM subjects helps them become adept at solving all kinds of problems they might encounter, regardless of their chosen careers.


/ stiːm /


  1. the gas or vapour into which water is changed when boiled
  2. the mist formed when such gas or vapour condenses in the atmosphere
  3. any vaporous exhalation
  4. informal.
    power, energy, or speed
  5. get up steam
    1. (of a ship, etc) to work up a sufficient head of steam in a boiler to drive an engine
    2. to go quickly
  6. let off steam informal.
    to release pent-up energy or emotions
  7. under one's own steam
    without the assistance of others
  8. slang.
    cheap wine
  9. modifier driven, operated, heated, powered, etc, by steam

    a steam radiator

  10. modifier treated by steam

    steam ironed

    steam cleaning

  11. humorous.
    modifier old-fashioned; outmoded

    steam radio


  1. to emit or be emitted as steam
  2. intr to generate steam, as a boiler, etc
  3. intr to move or travel by steam power, as a ship, etc
  4. informal.
    intr to proceed quickly and sometimes forcefully
  5. to cook or be cooked in steam
  6. tr to treat with steam or apply steam to, as in cleaning, pressing clothes, etc


/ stēm /

  1. Water in its gaseous state, especially at a temperature above the boiling point of water (above 100°C, or 212°F, at sea level).
  2. See Note at vapor
  3. A mist of condensed water vapor.

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Other Words From

  • steamless adjective
  • outsteam verb (used with object)
  • pre·steam adjective verb (used with object)
  • un·steamed adjective
  • un·steaming adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of steam1

before 1000; Middle English steme, Old English stēam; cognate with Dutch stoom

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Word History and Origins

Origin of steam1

Old English; related to Dutch stoom steam, perhaps to Old High German stioban to raise dust, Gothic stubjus dust

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. 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.

More idioms and phrases containing steam

see blow off steam ; full speed (steam) ahead ; get up steam ; run out of steam ; under one's own steam .

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Example Sentences

Both sides of Prop 22 are going full steam ahead in their efforts to sway California voters.

Competitors can add a bunch of milk, shape the oatmeal into tapas, brulee it, steam it, or bake it.

From Eater

When you can’t step away ever or let off the steam in a healthy way it can be very difficult.

From Digiday

Equities usually lose steam and then bounce back over several months, not weeks.

From Fortune

Sailors screamed and moaned piteously on the upper decks, the steady hiss of steam in their ears.

In 2006, the firm presided over a routine steam-injection procedure known as “well stimulation.”

Parenting a kid that can get from place to place under his own steam is a whole new ballgame.

But as one deadly malady loses steam, another may be exploding: hunger.

Either way, the Navy is proceeding full steam ahead in preparing the DDG-1000 for sea.

In the 19th century, steam-powered printing presses led to mass circulations newspapers and magazines.

A colossal steam "traveller" had ceaselessly carried great blocks of stone and long steel girders from point to point.

Two huge steam engines had snorted and puffed for three whole years.

Greenlaw (Charles P.), his efforts in obtaining steam for India, 560.

The steamboat of 1809 and the steam locomotive of 1830 were the direct result of what had gone before.

The Comet started on her first trip up the Arkansas, being the first steam boat that ascended that river.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




stealthysteam bath