get up/pick up steam

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

pick up steam

To gradually grow in strength, momentum, power, influence, etc. Though few believed that the independence campaign would have a chance of succeeding, lately it's been picking up steam. They've been sluggish in the first half, but the team has finally started picking up steam.
See also: pick, steam, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

pick up steam

If a process or activity picks up steam, it starts to become stronger, faster, or more active. Note: The following expressions refer to the use of steam to provide power for a machine, especially a steam engine. Hopefully, the economy will pick up steam next year. Just as the presidential campaign was picking up steam, riots exploded in Los Angeles.
See also: pick, steam, up
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

get up (or pick up) steam

1 generate enough pressure to drive a steam engine. 2 (of a project, plan, or process in its early stages) gradually gain more impetus and driving force.
See also: get, steam, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌget up/ˌpick up ˈsteam


1 gradually increase speed: As the train came out of the tunnel, it picked up steam.
2 (informal) gradually get bigger, more active or popular: The election campaign is getting up steam now; it is only two weeks to election day.I’m trying to get up enough steam to finish writing this book, but it’s not easy.
See also: get, pick, steam, up
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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