Definition of steam noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//stiːm//
    ; NAmE NAmE//stiːm//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  the hot gas that water changes into when it boils Steam rose from the boiling kettle. a Turkish steam bath
  2. 2  the power that is produced from steam under pressure, used to operate engines, machines, etc. the introduction of steam in the 18th century steam power the steam age a steam train/engine
  3. 3very small drops of water that form in the air or on cold surfaces when warm air suddenly cools synonym condensation She wiped the steam from her glasses.
  4. Word OriginOld English stēam ‘vapour’, stēman ‘emit a scent, be exhaled’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stoom ‘steam’.Extra examples Steam rose from her mug of cocoa. The engine is driven by steam. The hotel has a steam room. The saucepan on the cooker puffed little jets of steam. The saucepan puffed little jets of steam.Idioms with as much speed or energy as possible
    get, etc. somewhere under your own steam
    jump to other results
    (informal) to go somewhere without help from other people I’ll get to the party under my own steam.
    1. 1(informal) to become gradually more powerful, active, etc. His election campaign is beginning to get up steam.
    2. 2(of a vehicle) to increase speed gradually
    (informal) to get rid of your energy, anger or strong emotions by doing something active or noisy I went for a long walk to let off steam. (informal) to lose energy and enthusiasm and stop doing something, or do it less well
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: steam