Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
vent (one's) spleen
To voice one's anger. Mom's been venting her spleen to me for an hour already. Apparently, Aunt Marie has wronged her yet again.
give vent to something
Fig. to express anger. (The something is usually anger, ire, irritation, etc.) John gave vent to his anger by yelling at Sally. Bill couldn't give vent to his frustration because he had been warned to keep quiet.
vent one's spleen
Fig. to get rid of one's feelings of anger caused by someone or something by attacking someone or something else. Jack vented his spleen at his wife whenever things went badly at work. Peter vented his spleen on his car by kicking it when it broke down.
vent something (up)on someone or something
to release one's emotional tension on someone or something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) Henry vented his anger on Carl. It's no use to vent your hatred on a door. Kicking it won't help.
give vent to
Express an emotion, as in He didn't dare give vent to his annoyance in front of her parents. [Late 1500s]
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]
vent your spleen
If you vent your spleen, you express your anger about something. He took up the attack, venting his spleen against the government for a full hour.
To release some strong emotion by taking action against someone or something: The frustrated travelers vented their anger on the employees of the airline.
vent one’s spleen
tv. to release one’s anger. I just feel like I have to vent my spleen at somebody.