safety valve

noun

Definition of safety valve

  1. 1 :  an automatic escape or relief valve (as for a steam boiler)

  2. 2 :  an outlet for pent-up energy or emotion

  3. 3 :  something that relieves the pressure of overcrowding

Examples of safety valve in a sentence

  1. His hobbies act as a safety valve, relieving some of the pressure he feels from his job.

1744

First Known Use of safety valve

1744


SAFETY VALVE Defined for English Language Learners

safety valve

noun

Definition of safety valve for English Language Learners

  • : a part in a machine that opens automatically to release steam, water, gas, etc., when pressure becomes too great

  • : something that allows someone to release mental stress and tension in a harmless way


Learn More about safety valve


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up safety valve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who is a bore or nuisance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!