cooked with steam from boiling water: steamed dumplings.
Informal. angry: She's really steamed about what you said yesterday.

Origin of steamed

First recorded in 1800–05




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.

Origin of steam

before 1000; Middle English steme, Old English stēam; cognate with Dutch stoom
Related formssteam·less, adjectiveout·steam, verb (used with object)pre·steam, adjective, verb (used with object)un·steamed, adjectiveun·steam·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for steamed

Contemporary Examples of steamed

Historical Examples of steamed

  • Some after noon we steamed past a small city on the southern coast which had a large natural harbor.

  • These were not dependent on the vagaries of the wind and steamed wherever their skippers divined that fish might be.

    The Harbor of Doubt

    Frank Williams

  • They have the reputation of being very indigestible on account of the fact that they are generally boiled, not steamed.

    Food Remedies

    Florence Daniel

  • They passed the great ship-building yards of the Clyde, the largest in the world, as they steamed down the river.

  • Meanwhile the launch, ignoring the continued fire of the enemy, kept to the far side of the river and steamed down to Elmina.

British Dictionary definitions for steamed



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 steamed



Old English steam "vapor, fume," from Proto-Germanic *staumaz (cf. Dutch stoom), of unknown origin. Steam age first attested 1941. Steam heat as a method of temperature control recorded from 1904.



Old English stemen, stymen "to emit a scent or odor," from the root of steam (n.). Slang meaning "to make angry" is from 1922. Related: Steamed; steaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for steamed



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 steamed


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.