From Middle English steem, stem, from Old English stēam (“steam, hot exhalation, hot breath; that which emits vapour; blood”), from Proto-Germanic *staumaz (“steam, vapour, breath”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰew- (“to whirl, waft, stink, shake; steam, haze, smoke”). Cognate with Scots stem, steam (“steam”), West Frisian steam (“steam, vapour”), Dutch stoom (“steam, vapour”), Low German stom (“steam”), Swedish dialectal stimma (“steam, fog”), Latin fūmus (“smoke, steam”).
- The vapor formed when water changes from liquid phase to gas phase.
- Pressurized water vapour used for heating, cooking, or to provide mechanical energy.
- (figuratively) Internal energy for motive power.
- After three weeks in bed he was finally able to sit up under his own steam.
- (figuratively) Pent-up anger.
- Dad had to go outside to blow off some steam.
- A steam-powered vehicle.
- Travel by means of a steam-powered vehicle.
- (obsolete) Any exhalation.
- a steam of rich, distilled perfumes
- (fencing) Fencing without the use of any electric equipment.
- (a steam-powered vehicle): steamer
- (fencing): electric
- blow off steam
- build up steam
- gather steam
- pick up steam
- steam bath
- steam boiler
- steam condenser
- steam distillation
- steam engine
- steam hammer
- steam heater
- steam iron
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
- (cooking, transitive) To cook with steam.
- (transitive) To expose to the action of steam; to apply steam to for softening, dressing, or preparing.
- to steam wood or cloth
- (intransitive) To produce or vent steam.
- My brother's ghost hangs hovering there, / O'er his warm blood, that steams into the air.
- (intransitive) To rise in vapour; to issue, or pass off, as vapour.
- The dissolved amber […] steamed away into the air.
- (intransitive, figuratively) To become angry; to fume; to be incensed.
- (transitive, figuratively) To make angry.
- It really steams me to see her treat him like that.
- (intransitive) To be covered with condensed water vapor.
- With all the heavy breathing going on the windows were quickly steamed in the car.
- (intransitive) To travel by means of steam power.
- We steamed around the Mediterranean.
- N. P. Willis
- The vessel steamed out of port.
- (figuratively or literally) To move with great or excessive purposefulness.
- If he heard of anyone picking the fruit he would steam off and lecture them.
- 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1 - 0 Bolton”, in BBC:
- That was the hard work largely done as the Ivorian waited for Malouda to steam into the box before releasing a simple crossed pass which the Frenchman side-footed home with aplomb.
- (obsolete) To exhale.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
- See also Thesaurus:cook
steam (not comparable)
- Old-fashioned; from before the digital age.
- 1989, “Despite the era's technological marvels, 'wireless' is still magic”, in Toronto Star:
- Tom Earle, a CBC radio veteran now compiling audio archives in Ottawa, used to refer to the medium in which he worked as "steam radio"
- 2000 January 10, Bill Pannifer, “Sore eyes”, in The Independent:
- Unlike the Web, old-fashioned steam television must be viewed in sequence in order to pick out those rare bits of useful information.
- 2002 September 5, Alex Kirby, “Summit diary: Aftermath”, in BBC News:
- In the old days of steam journalism, after cleft sticks had been phased out but before the advent of e-mail, there used to be a fairly sure-fire way of getting your story to the news desk.
- 2004 April 2, “'I'ma player. It's time to move on'”, in Telegraph.co.uk:
- Fox has been at Capital since 1988, where he lurks a little in the shadow of Chris Tarrant, the radio station's monolithic star who has helmed the plum breakfast show slot since the steam radio dawn of time.
- steam (water vapor)