blow off steam, to(redirected from to blow off steam)
blow off steam
Also, let off steam. Air or relieve one's pent-up feelings by loud talk or vigorous activity. For example, Joan's shouting did not mean she was angry at you; she was just blowing off steam, or After spending the day on very exacting work, Tom blew off steam by going for a long run . This metaphoric term refers to easing the pressure in a steam engine. [Early 1800s]
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.
blow off steamverb
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
blow off steam
To give vent to pent-up emotion.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
blow off steam, to
To let out one’s frustration or anger, usually by shouting. The term comes from the early days of railroading, when locomotives had no safety valves. When the steam pressure built up, the engineer would pull a lever that would blow off steam and prevent an explosion. It was transferred to human wrath in the early nineteenth century. “The widow . . . sat . . . fuming and blowing off her steam,” wrote Frederick Marryat (The Dog-Fiend, 1837). See also let off steam.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer