get up a (full) head of steam

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get up a (full) head of steam

To gain momentum or the energy needed to move forward. The protests against the corrupt organization got 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 get up a full head of steam.
See also: get, head, of, steam, up
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

get up a (full) head of steam

 
1. Lit. [for a steam engine] to build steam pressure in order to start operating. It took nearly thirty minutes to get up a full head of steam so that the locomotive could start moving.
2. Fig. to develop sufficient energy, enthusiasm, commitment, or determination to undertake something. It's nearly noon before I can get up a full head of steam and accomplish something.
See also: get, head, of, steam, up
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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