verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
Origin of steam
- (of a ship, etc) to work up a sufficient head of steam in a boiler to drive an engine
- informalto go quickly
Word Origin for steam
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.
see blow off steam; full speed (steam) ahead; get up steam; run out of steam; under one's own steam.