let off steam

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Related to let off steam: running out of steam, ran out of steam

let off (some) steam

1. Literally, to release or emit steam. Should I turn down the heat? That pot is letting off a lot of steam.
2. To release strong emotions or energy by engaging in some kind of enjoyable, vigorous, or relaxing activity. I went on a run to let off steam after our fight. When work gets frustrating, I like to go bowling to let off some steam.
See also: let, off, steam

let off (some) steam

 and blow off (some) steam 
1. Lit. [for something] to release steam. The locomotive let off some steam after it came to a halt. With a great hiss, it let off steam and frightened the children.
2. Fig. to work or play off excess energy. Those boys need to get out and let off some steam. Go out and let off steam!
3. Fig. to release one's pent-up emotions, such as anger, usually verbally. I'm sorry I yelled at you. I guess I needed to let off some steam. She's not that mad. She's just letting off steam.
See also: let, off, steam

let off steam

mainly BRITISH or

blow off steam

COMMON If you let off steam or blow off steam, you do or say something which helps you to express or get rid of strong feelings of anger about something. Note: The following expressions refer to the use of steam to provide power for a machine, especially a steam engine. Our teams meets every two weeks, giving everyone a chance to let off steam. I was so annoyed, I had to go for a run just to let off steam. The discussions offer students an opportunity to blow off steam about their teachers. Note: The reference here is to steam escaping noisily from the safety valve of a steam engine.
See also: let, off, steam

let (or blow) off steam

get rid of pent-up energy or emotion. informal
The image here is of the release of excess steam from a steam engine through a valve.
See also: let, off, steam

ˌlet off ˈsteam

(informal) release energy, strong feelings, nervous tension, etc. by intense physical activity or noisy behaviour: He lets off steam by going to the gym after work.All children need to let off steam from time to time.
See also: let, off, steam

let off steam

See also: let, off, steam

let off steam, to

To give vent to one’s feelings, or to work off excess energy. The term comes from the safety valve in steam locomotives, which prevented steam from building up to the point of exploding. Henry James used it in a letter in 1869, “I feel an irresistible need to let off steam periodically and confide to a sympathetic ear.” See also blow off steam.
See also: let, off
References in periodicals archive ?
They are safe, ideal places for youngsters to let off steam and tire themselves out.
Off-duty officers, thepolice, ambulance and fire brigade were called out, but everyone just stood back and waited until the nine had let off steam and calmed down.
Dancing Dragons also has a kitchen and restaurant facilities to allow parents to watch in comfort when their youngsters let off steam.
Take kickboxing or karate, so you can let off steam.
Writing about the match immediately after it is played can be cathartic in that it enables the player to let off steam and also learn from his mistakes and successes.
Little ones can let off steam in the gallery's newly refurbished play area, with climbing areas, swings and zip-wires.
There are 396 acres of parkland to explore and with dog owners asked to keep their pets on a lead, children can safely enjoy the freedom to run around and let off steam.
Enrol him in a class where he may be able to let off steam, or immerse himself in some activity to allow him to lose himself from his thoughts for a while.
Meanwhile, deep in the Tokai forest, a rival band takes over a sports ground to let off steam in an exuberant display of baboon Olympics.
READY TO LET OFF STEAM Harry and Grace Courtney at Chesters Roman Fort in Hexham, one of the sites where events will be held
Tim Smith, partner in charge at law firm PKF's Cardiff office which organised the event, explained: "With the current doom and gloom in the news and the economic crisis dominating the headlines, we wanted to organise a fun get together where people could let off steam, network and rekindle business relationships.
Instead, they let off steam at weekends, reports the Scotsman.
RED RAGE: Strachan rows with officials at Pittodrie and, clockwise, Jefferies, Calderwood, MacPherson and Hughes let off steam