vent one's spleen

Idioms & Phrases

vent one's spleen

Express one's anger, as in Some people see town council meetings as a place where they can vent their spleen. This expression uses vent in the sense of "air," and spleen in the sense of "anger," alluding to the fact that this organ was once thought to be the seat of ill humor and melancholy. [First half of 1600s]

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