steam

noun
\ ˈstēm How to pronounce steam (audio) \

Definition of steam

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a vapor arising from a heated substance
2a : the invisible vapor into which water is converted when heated to the boiling point
b : the mist formed by the condensation on cooling of water vapor
3a : water vapor kept under pressure so as to supply energy for heating, cooking, or mechanical work also : the power so generated
b : active force : power, momentum got there under his own steam sales began to pick up steam also : normal force at full steam
c : pent-up emotional tension needed to let off a little steam
b : travel by or a trip in a steamer

steam

verb
steamed; steaming; steams

Definition of steam (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to give out as fumes : exhale
2 : to apply steam to especially : to expose to the action of steam (as for softening or cooking)

intransitive verb

1 : to rise or pass off as vapor
2 : to give off steam or vapor
3a : to move or travel by the agency of steam
b : to move or proceed with energy or force
4 : to be angry : boil steaming over the insult

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Synonyms for steam

Synonyms: Verb

boil, burn, foam, fume, rage, rankle, seethe, sizzle, storm

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Examples of steam in a Sentence

Noun

Careful, the steam from the pot is hot. The boat runs on steam. He wiped the steam from the mirrors. He was afraid he would run out of steam before the end of the race. I was making good progress this morning, but now I'm starting to run out of steam.

Verb

a steaming bowl of soup She prefers to steam carrots rather than boil them. Their breath steamed the windows.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tiny pieces are picked up by the steam cloud, which contains hydrochloric acid that also is created by the interaction of lava and the ocean. James Rogers, Fox News, "Hawaii volcano: Kilauea lava spews deadly 'laze' plume containing tiny shards of glass," 23 May 2018 Authorities on Sunday warned the public to stay away from the toxic steam cloud, which is formed by a chemical reaction when lava touches seawater. CBS News, "Lava from Hawaii volcano oozes into ocean, creating new toxic hazard," 21 May 2018 Go over the entire sofa allowing just the steam to touch and penetrate the fabric. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean a Couch Like a Pro," 29 Mar. 2019 The problem with the propulsion system isn’t related to the nuclear reactors but rather the turbines driven by the steam produced by the reactors. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Navy’s Newest Aircraft Carrier Is Delayed, Yet Again," 28 Mar. 2019 Meanwhile, steam green beans until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes; run under cold water to cool. Taylor Murray, Country Living, "Seared Salmon, Watercress, and Potato Salad With Olive Dressing," 21 Feb. 2019 Rose water, a liquid made from the steam distillation of rose petals, is a homeopathic beauty treatment used since ancient Egypt. Audrey Noble, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Beauty Benefits of Rose Water," 8 Feb. 2019 In 2015, thermal power generation—anything that burns fuel to create gas or steam that pushes a turbine—used 133 billion gallons of water per day. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Thermal power plants use a lot of water, but that’s slowly changing," 13 Nov. 2018 Instead, eat veggies raw, or steam, blanch or roast them until just crisp-tender, then top with a little olive oil. Aviva Patz And Karyn Repinski, Woman's Day, "10 Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure," 20 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

If pancake is steaming and not sizzling, increase heat and add another drop of oil. Milwaukee, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Tasty Korean fare to cook up for the Olympics," 14 Feb. 2018 Havre de Grace Maritime Museum Shrimp and Barbecue Festival Take in the waterfront views while feasting on artisan chef Nic Galloro’s barbecue chicken, pork ribs or steamed shrimp, while sipping a glass of wine or a beer. Allana Haynes, baltimoresun.com, "Summer festivals, fairs and other events in Harford County and around the state," 24 May 2018 Frying, roasting, broiling and baking certain foods are more likely to create acrylamide, while steaming, boiling or microwaving are less likely to do so. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "California Coffee Companies Must Display Cancer Warning Label, Judge Rules," 30 Mar. 2018 Not in New York these days, where solidarity, and steaming fulmination, are only a mystery delay away. Gregory Krieg, CNN, "New York's Nixon-Cuomo primary is shaping up to be a blockbuster," 21 Mar. 2018 But manager Jeff Banister was still steamed by Jurickson Profar getting drilled by right-hander Addision Reed in the seventh inning. Jeff Wilson, star-telegram, "Rangers steamed after Profar drilled by Twins for third time," 23 June 2018 The only thing that dodged condemnation would be steamed vegetables, a protein bar, or, a 100-calorie snack bag. Charlotte Palermino, Bon Appetit, "A French Woman's Guide to Unabashedly Loving Butter," 23 May 2018 There, they are separated by size, and the mature ones are then steamed, their oil extracted, and their bodies (including exoskeleton) turned into a powder resembling beach sand. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "How Insects Might Help Solve the Looming Global Food Crisis," 25 Mar. 2018 Park workers also are steamed because Disney promised $1,000 bonuses to each of its 125,000 employees after the approval of the GOP federal tax overhaul. Hugo Martin, latimes.com, "Disneyland workers demonstrate at Walt Disney Co. meeting, demanding 'living wages'," 8 Mar. 2018

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

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First Known Use of steam

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for steam

Noun

Middle English stem, from Old English stēam; akin to Dutch stoom steam

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Statistics for steam

Last Updated

22 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for steam

The first known use of steam was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for steam

steam

noun

English Language Learners Definition of steam

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the hot gas that is created when water is boiled
: steam that is created by a machine and kept under pressure to provide power
: very small drops of water that form on a surface when warm air that contains a lot of water is cooled down

steam

verb

English Language Learners Definition of steam (Entry 2 of 2)

: to produce steam
: to cook, heat, or treat (something) with steam
: to cause (something, such as a piece of glass) to become covered with small drops of water

steam

noun
\ ˈstēm How to pronounce steam (audio) \

Kids Definition of steam

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the vapor into which water is changed when heated to the boiling point
2 : steam or the heat or power produced by it when kept under pressure Some houses are heated by steam.
3 : the mist formed when water vapor cools
4 : driving force : power By the end of the day, I had run out of steam.

steam

verb
steamed; steaming

Kids Definition of steam (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give off steam or vapor The cocoa steamed fragrantly in the saucepan …— Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
2 : to rise or pass off as steam Heat steamed from the pipes.
3 : to move or travel by or as if by the power of steam The ship steamed out of the harbor. She steamed past the fancy brick entrance to the golf course …— Carl Hiaasen, Hoot
4 : to expose to steam (as for cooking)

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More from Merriam-Webster on steam

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with steam

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for steam

Spanish Central: Translation of steam

Nglish: Translation of steam for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of steam for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about steam

Comments on steam

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