let off steam


2 [bloh]
verb (used without object), blew, blown, blowing.
(of the wind or air) to be in motion.
to move along, carried by or as by the wind: Dust seemed to blow through every crack in the house.
to produce or emit a current of air, as with the mouth or a bellows: Blow on your hands to warm them.
(of a horn, trumpet, etc.) to give out sound.
to make a blowing sound; whistle: The siren blew just as we rounded the corner.
(of horses) to breathe hard or quickly; pant.
Informal. to boast; brag: He kept blowing about his medals.
Zoology. (of a whale) to spout.
(of a fuse, light bulb, vacuum tube, tire, etc.) to burst, melt, stop functioning, or be destroyed by exploding, overloading, etc. (often followed by out ): A fuse blew just as we sat down to dinner. The rear tire blew out.
to burst from internal pressure: Poorly sealed cans will often blow.
Slang. to leave; depart.
verb (used with object), blew, blown, blowing.
to drive by means of a current of air: A sudden breeze blew the smoke into the house.
to spread or make widely known: Growing panic blew the rumor about.
to drive a current of air upon.
to clear or empty by forcing air through: Try blowing your nose.
to shape (glass, smoke, etc.) with a current of air: to blow smoke rings.
to cause to sound, as by a current of air: Blow your horn at the next crossing.
Jazz. to play (a musical instrument of any kind).
to cause to explode (often followed by up, to bits, etc.): A mine blew the ship to bits.
to burst, melt, burn out, or destroy by exploding, overloading, etc. (often followed by out ): to blow a tire; blow a fuse.
to destroy; demolish (usually followed by down, over, etc.): The windstorm blew down his house.
to spend money on.
to squander; spend quickly: He blew a fortune on racing cars.
to waste; lose: The team blew the lead by making a bad play.
Informal. to mishandle, ruin, botch; make a mess of; bungle: With one stupid mistake he blew the whole project. It was your last chance and you blew it!
Slang. to damn: Blow the cost!
to put (a horse) out of breath by fatigue.
Slang. to depart from: to blow town.
Slang: Vulgar. to perform fellatio on.
Slang. to smoke (marijuana or other drugs).
a blast of air or wind: to clean machinery with a blow.
Informal. a violent windstorm, gale, hurricane, or the like: one of the worst blows we ever had around here.
an act of producing a blast of air, as in playing a wind instrument: a few discordant blows by the bugler.
a blast of air forced through a converter, as in the production of steel or copper.
the stage of the production process during which this blast is used.
Civil Engineering, boil1 ( def 12 ).
Slang. cocaine.
Verb phrases
blow away, Slang.
to kill, especially by gunfire: The gang threatened to blow away anyone who talked to the police.
to defeat decisively; trounce: She blew her opponent away in three straight sets.
to overwhelm with emotion, astonishment, etc.: Good poetry just blows me away.
blow down, Metallurgy. to suspend working of (a blast furnace) by smelting the existing charge with a diminishing blast.
blow in,
Slang. to arrive at a place, especially unexpectedly: My uncle just blew in from Sacramento.
Metallurgy. to begin operations in (a blast furnace).
blow off,
to allow steam to be released.
Informal. to reduce or release tension, as by loud talking.
Informal. to ignore, evade, or treat as unimportant: I mentioned his insulting remark, and he just blew the whole thing off.
Informal. to not go to or participate in: He blew off his first-period class three times that week.
Informal. to fail to meet (someone) as planned without alerting the person beforehand: I waited 20 minutes before I realized my sister had blown me off.
Informal. to end a romantic or other relationship with: He blew me off after our third date.
blow out,
to become extinguished: The candles blew out at once.
to lose force or cease: The storm has blown itself out.
(of an oil or gas well) to lose oil or gas uncontrollably.
Metallurgy. to blow down and clean (a blast furnace) in order to shut down.
blow over,
to pass away; subside: The storm blew over in five minutes.
to be forgotten: The scandal will eventually blow over.
blow up,
to come into being: A storm suddenly blew up.
to explode: The ship blew up.
to cause to explode: to blow up a bridge.
to exaggerate; enlarge: He blew up his own role in his account of the project.
Informal. to lose one's temper: When he heard she had quit school, he blew up.
to fill with air; inflate: to blow up a tire.
Photography. to make an enlarged reproduction of.
Mathematics. (of a function) to become infinite.
blow hot and cold, to favor something at first and reject it later on; waver; vacillate: His enthusiasm for the job blows hot and cold.
blow off steam, Informal. steam ( def 23 ). Also, let off steam.
blow one's cool, Slang. to lose one's composure; become angry, frantic, or flustered.
blow one's cover. cover ( def 52 ).
blow one's lines, Theater. to forget or make an error in a speaking part or stage directions.
blow one's mind. mind ( def 36 ).
blow one's stack. stack ( def 23 ).
blow one's top. top1 ( def 43 ).

before 1000; Middle English blowen (v.), Old English blāwan; cognate with Latin flāre to blow

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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 pertaining to steam.
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.

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

steamless, adjective
outsteam, verb (used with object)
presteam, adjective, verb (used with object)
unsteamed, adjective
unsteaming, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To let off steam
World English Dictionary
blow1 (bləʊ)
vb (often foll by up, down, in, etc) , blows, blowing, blew, blown, blowed
1.  (of a current of air, the wind, etc) to be or cause to be in motion
2.  (intr) to move or be carried by or as if by wind or air: a feather blew in through the window
3.  to expel (air, cigarette smoke, etc) through the mouth or nose
4.  to force or cause (air, dust, etc) to move (into, in, over, etc) by using an instrument or by expelling breath
5.  (intr) to breathe hard; pant
6.  (sometimes foll by up) to inflate with air or the breath
7.  (intr) (of wind, a storm, etc) to make a roaring or whistling sound
8.  to cause (a whistle, siren, etc) to sound by forcing air into it, as a signal, or (of a whistle, etc) to sound thus
9.  (tr) to force air from the lungs through (the nose) to clear out mucus or obstructing matter
10.  to explode, break, or disintegrate completely: the bridge blew down in the gale
11.  electronics to burn out (a fuse, valve, etc) because of excessive current or (of a fuse, valve, etc) to burn out
12.  slang blow a fuse to lose one's temper
13.  (intr) (of a whale) to spout water or air from the lungs
14.  (tr) to wind (a horse) by making it run excessively
15.  to cause (a wind instrument) to sound by forcing one's breath into the mouthpiece, or (of such an instrument) to sound in this way
16.  slang (intr) jazz to play in a jam session
17.  (intr) (of flies) to lay eggs (in)
18.  to shape (glass, ornaments, etc) by forcing air or gas through the material when molten
19.  chiefly (Scot), (Austral), (NZ) (intr) to boast or brag
20.  slang (tr)
 a.  to spend (money) freely
 b.  (US) to treat or entertain
21.  slang (tr) to use (an opportunity) ineffectively
22.  slang to go suddenly away (from)
23.  slang (tr) to expose or betray (a person or thing meant to be kept secret)
24.  slang (US) (tr) to inhale (a drug)
25.  slang (intr) to masturbate
26.  informal another word for damn : I'll be blowed; blow it!
27.  draughts another word for huff
28.  blow hot and cold to vacillate
29.  blow a kiss, blow kisses to kiss one's hand, then blow across it as if to carry the kiss through the air to another person
30.  blow one's own trumpet to boast of one's own skills or good qualities
31.  slang blow someone's mind
 a.  (of a drug, esp LSD) to alter someone's mental state
 b.  esp (US), (Canadian) to astound or surprise someone
32.  informal blow one's top, blow one's stack, blow one's lid to lose one's temper
33.  the act or an instance of blowing
34.  the sound produced by blowing
35.  a blast of air or wind
36.  metallurgy
 a.  a stage in the Bessemer process in which air is blasted upwards through molten pig iron
 b.  the quantity of metal treated in a Bessemer converter
37.  mining
 a.  a rush of air into a mine
 b.  the collapse of a mine roof
38.  slang jazz a jam session
39.  a.  (Brit) a slang name for cannabis
 b.  (US) a slang name for cocaine
[Old English blāwan, related to Old Norse blǣr gust of wind, Old High German blāen, Latin flāre]

blow2 (bləʊ)
1.  a powerful or heavy stroke with the fist, a weapon, etc
2.  at one blow, at a blow by or with only one action; all at one time
3.  a sudden setback; unfortunate event: to come as a blow
4.  come to blows
 a.  to fight
 b.  to result in a fight
5.  an attacking action: a blow for freedom
6.  (Austral), (NZ) a stroke of the shears in sheep-shearing
[C15: probably of Germanic origin; compare Old High German bliuwan to beat]

blow3 (bləʊ)
vb , blows, blowing, blew, blown
1.  (intr) (of a plant or flower) to blossom or open out
2.  (tr) to produce (flowers)
3.  a mass of blossoms
4.  the state or period of blossoming (esp in the phrase in full blow)
[Old English blōwan; related to Old Frisian blōia to bloom, Old High German bluoen, Latin flōs flower; see bloom1]

steam (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
 a.  (of a ship, etc) to work up a sufficient head of steam in a boiler to drive an engine
 b.  informal to go quickly
6.  informal let off steam to release pent-up energy or emotions
7.  under one's own steam without the assistance of others
8.  slang (Austral) cheap wine
9.  (modifier) driven, operated, heated, powered, etc, by steam: a steam radiator
10.  (modifier) treated by steam: steam ironed; steam cleaning
11.  jocular (modifier) old-fashioned; outmoded: steam radio
12.  to emit or be emitted as steam
13.  (intr) to generate steam, as a boiler, etc
14.  (intr) to move or travel by steam power, as a ship, etc
15.  informal (intr) to proceed quickly and sometimes forcefully
16.  to cook or be cooked in steam
17.  (tr) to treat with steam or apply steam to, as in cleaning, pressing clothes, etc
[Old English; related to Dutch stoom steam, perhaps to Old High German stioban to raise dust, Gothic stubjus dust]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"move air," O.E. blawan "blow, breathe, make an air current; kindle; inflate; sound a wind instrument" (class VII strong verb; past tense bleow, pp. blawen), from P.Gmc. *blæ-anan (cf. O.H.G. blaen, Ger. blähen), from PIE *bhle- "to swell, blow up" (cf. L. flare "to blow"). Slang "do fellatio
on" sense is from 1933, as blow (someone) off, originally among prostitutes (cf. blow job). This usage is probably not connected to the colloquial imprecation (1781, associated with sailors, e.g. Popeye's "well, blow me down!"), which has pp. blowed. Meaning "to spend (money) foolishly and all at once" is 1890s; that of "bungle an opportunity" is from 1943.

"to bloom, blossom" (intrans.), from O.E. blowan "to flower, blossom, flourish," from P.Gmc. *blæ- (cf. O.S. bloian, O.Fris. bloia, O.H.G. bluoen, Ger. blühen), from PIE *bhle-, extended form of *bhel- (2) "to thrive, bloom" (see bole). This word is the source of the blown in full-blown.

"hard hit," mid-15c., blowe, from northern and East Midlands dialects, perhaps from M.Du. blouwen "to beat," a common Germanic word of unknown origin (cf. Ger. bleuen, Goth. bliggwan "to strike"). Influenced in English by blow (v.1).

O.E. steam "vapor, fume," from P.Gmc. *staumaz (cf. Du. stoom), of unknown origin. The verb is from O.E. stemen, stymen "to emit a scent or odor;" slang meaning "to make angry" is from 1922. Steamy is first attested 1644; in the sense of "erotic, sexy," it is first recorded 1952. Steamboat is from 1787;
steam-engine is from 1751; steamer is 1814 in the cookery sense, 1825 as "a vessel propelled by steam," hence steamer trunk (1885), one that carries the essentials for a voyage. Steam age first attested 1941. Steam heat as a method of temperature control recorded from 1904. Steam-roller is from 1866; as a verb, first recorded 1912.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
steam   (stēm)  Pronunciation Key 
  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). See Note at vapor.

  2. A mist of condensed water vapor.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

let off steam

see blow off steam.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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