safety valve

noun

Definition of safety valve

1 : an automatic escape or relief valve (as for a steam boiler)
2 : an outlet for pent-up energy or emotion
3 : something that relieves the pressure of overcrowding

Examples of safety valve in a Sentence

His hobbies act as a safety valve, relieving some of the pressure he feels from his job.
Recent Examples on the Web Mobley could be the key as a rim protector on the defensive end, being a safety valve at the rim and allowing the Cavs to create more pressure on the perimeter. Ashley Bastock, cleveland, 12 Apr. 2022 Hunt can be a slot receiver, a safety valve for Mayfield. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 11 Dec. 2021 That prevented the automatic closure of the surface safety valve. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Dec. 2021 The running back’s 10 catches ranked fifth on the team while scoring three touchdowns as a critical safety valve out of the backfield. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 5 Oct. 2021 Alabama worked the perimeter on the passing game, using Jase McClellan as a safety valve/big play creator. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 18 Sep. 2021 Back to the Times: Adding to the tight situation in Europe, Groningen, the giant gas field in the Netherlands that long served as a safety valve for both its home country and western Germany, is being gradually shut down because of earthquakes. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 10 Sep. 2021 Some portions, as with other NYE telecasts, will be pre-recorded, for purposes of running a tight ship and or a safety valve. Chris Willman, Variety, 9 Sep. 2021 All Great Lakes cities — even Chicago — use their lake as a safety valve to alleviate street flooding and basement backups by discharging untreated sewage straight into the lakes after big storms hit. jsonline.com, 2 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'safety valve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of safety valve

1744, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About safety valve

Time Traveler for safety valve

Time Traveler

The first known use of safety valve was in 1744

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near safety valve

safety tube

safety valve

safety zone

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for safety valve

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Safety valve.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/safety%20valve. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on safety valve

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about safety valve

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!