let off (some) steam

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

let off some steam

See also: let, off, steam

let off steam

See also: let, off, steam
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
All the dogs were very well-behaved and enjoyed a turn around the Quarry before letting off some steam while playing with their newfound friends.
Favourites include a huge wood-fired pizza oven for enjoying freshly made margaritas, and a wood-fired sauna for letting off some steam.
Another local added: "He let out a few big roars, which the ladies liked - I think he was letting off some steam."
We think recent renminbi price action represents the PBoC (People's Bank of China) letting off some steam ahead of the Fed lift off, the bank said in a research note.
If it's a big-name boss whose club has gone halfway round the world, chasing big bucks in prestige pre-season friendlies, I will be letting off some steam.
The companies that have rallied in recent months due to being seen as beneficiaries of a low oil price were letting off some steam on Monday.
My spies witnessed the pair in a clinch last Sunday at London's exclusive W Hotel, where the cast and crew of the show were enjoying late night drinks and letting off some steam after a busy day at the office.
Getting out and letting off some steam is part of it.
Stay late into the afternoon and you might well see her motorcycling daughter letting off some steam by flying over the humps of the farm's other attraction - a purpose-built motocross course!
Inspired by the ready-made, rough-and-tumble blues captured on old Chess recordings, Dylan, who turns 68 on May 24, joined forces with his seasoned touring band, two accomplished guest stars (Tom Petty's longtime guitarist Mike Campbell and Los Lobos' accordionist extraordinaire David Hidalgo) and former Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter for a record that's more about letting off some steam than setting the world on fire.
I think Ricky was just letting off some steam," said Hopes.
She may just be letting off some steam or anxiety after her exams, she may be bored or simply got caught up into this routine of staying out late.
It looks like they were just letting off some steam here and trying to relax after another tough day of filming."
Hinkel's assessments will heighten the motivation for both sets of players ahead of tomorrow's final Old Firm game of the season and the German has followed the lead of team-mate Diomansy Kamara in letting off some steam before the Parkhead encounter.