steam1 W3 [sti:m] n [U]
2¦(mist on surface)¦
4 let/blow off steam
5 get/pick/build up steam
6 run out of steam
7 under your own steam
[: Old English;]
1.) ¦(GAS)¦
the hot mist that water produces when it is boiled
Steam rose from the hot tub.
the mist that forms on windows, mirrors etc when warm wet air suddenly becomes cold
3.) ¦(POWER)¦
power that is produced by boiling water to make steam, in order to make things work or move
The engines are driven by steam.
steam engine/train/hammer etc
(=an engine etc that works by steam power)
4.) let/blow off steam
to get rid of your anger, excitement, or energy in a way that does not harm anyone by doing something active
5.) get/pick/build up steam also gather/gain steam
a) if an engine picks up steam, it gradually starts to go faster
b) if plans, beliefs etc pick up steam, they gradually become more important and more people become interested in them
The election campaign is picking up steam.
6.) run out of steam also lose steam
to no longer have the energy or the desire to continue doing something, especially because you are tired
I usually just let her yell until she runs out of steam.
7.) under your own steam
if you go somewhere under your own steam, you get there without help from anyone else
I'll get to the restaurant under my own steam.
8.) ¦(RAILWAY)¦
a railway system in which the trains use steam for power
the age of steam
full steam ahead atfull1 (18)
steam 2
steam2 v
if something steams, steam rises from it, especially because it is hot
steaming hot soup
2.) [T]
to cook something in steam
Steam the vegetables lightly.
steamed broccoli
3.) [I always + adverb/preposition]
to travel somewhere in a boat or train that uses steam to produce power
steam into/from etc
We steamed from port to port.
4.) [I] [i]especially BrE to go somewhere very quickly
steam in/down
Geoff steamed in ten minutes late.
5.) be steaming (mad) also be steamed (up)
AmE spoken to be very angry
steam ahead phr v
to start doing something very quickly
The company is steaming ahead with its investment programme.
steam open/off [steam sth<=>open/off] phr v
to use steam to open an envelope or to remove a stamp from an envelope
steam up phr v
to cover something with steam, or to become covered with steam
My glasses are all steamed up.
steam sth<=>up
A pan was boiling on the stove, steaming up the windows.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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