pick up steam

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of pick up steam

1 : to become more popular
  • The idea began to pick up steam around the turn of the century.
2 informal : to slowly begin to move ahead in a faster and more effective way
  • The project is slowly picking up steam.

Word by Word Definitions

pick play
  1. : to pierce, penetrate, or break up with a pointed instrument

  2. : to remove bit by bit

  3. : to remove covering or adhering matter from

  1. : a blow or stroke with a pointed instrument

  2. : the act or privilege of choosing or selecting : choice

  3. : the best or choicest one

  1. : a heavy, usually long-handled iron or steel tool pointed at one or both ends — compare mattock

  2. : toothpick

  3. : picklock

  1. : to throw or thrust with effort : hurl

  2. : to throw (a shuttle) across the loom

  1. : the act of pitching or throwing

  2. : something thrown

  3. : a throw of the shuttle

up play
  1. : in or into a higher position or level

  2. : from beneath the ground or water to the surface

  3. : from below the horizon

  1. : risen above the horizon

  2. : standing

  3. : being out of bed

  1. used as a function word to indicate motion to or toward or situation at a higher point of

  2. : up into or in the

  3. : in a direction regarded as being toward or near the upper end or part of

  1. : one in a high or advantageous position

  2. : an upward slope

  3. : a period or state of prosperity or success

  1. : to rise from a lying or sitting position

  2. : to move upward : ascend

  3. used with and and another verb to indicate that the action of the following verb was either surprisingly or abruptly initiated

steam play
  1. : a vapor arising from a heated substance

  2. : the invisible vapor into which water is converted when heated to the boiling point

  3. : the mist formed by the condensation on cooling of water vapor

  1. : to give out as fumes : exhale

  2. : to apply steam to

  3. : to rise or pass off as vapor


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of very fine texture or delicate form

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