build up a head of steam

build up a head of steam

To gain momentum or the energy needed to move forward. The protests against the corrupt organization built up a head of steam when the national media started covering the story. You can't make the jump standing still—you'll need to build up a head of steam.
See also: build, head, of, steam, up

build/get/work up a head of steam

to get enough energy, support, or enthusiasm to do something effectively
Usage notes: A head of steam is the pressure that is needed in the engine of an old-fashioned steam train to make it start moving.
In the last three months the campaign has built up a good head of steam.
See also: build, head, of, steam, up