get up steam

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get up steam

1. To gradually pick up or grow in strength, momentum, power, influence, etc. Though few believed that the independence campaign would have a chance of succeeding, lately it's been getting up steam.
2. To work or prepare to work hard; to draw upon reserves of energy, strength, resolve, etc., for a difficulty or challenge ahead. We're going to have to get up steam if we want to win this game!
See also: get, steam, up

get up steam

Prepare to work hard, summon up energy. For example, If we can just get up steam we can finish in no time. This expression alludes to producing enough steam to work an engine. [Early 1800s] Also see under full speed ahead.
See also: get, steam, up