steam

noun
\ ˈstēm \

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

And, sure, while a bottle of Chanel No. 5 may look like the perfect prop for any chic bathroom vanity, the daily stream of steam from the shower may be curbing its freshness (and, in turn, yours). Kari Molvar, Vogue, "5 Mistakes Most Women Make When Wearing Perfume—And How to Fix Them," 10 Dec. 2018 Made to order, my bowl arrived with plumes of steam circling above, vibrant slices of green onion scattered across the surface. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Ngon Appetit keeps it simple with 3 items — soup, sandwiches, crepes," 11 July 2018 Kilauea volcano began erupting more than two weeks ago and has burned dozens of homes, forced people to flee and shot up plumes of steam from its summit that led officials to distribute face masks to protect against ash particles. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "Yellowstone's magma chamber is more powerful than we knew. Here's why studying it matters.," 3 July 2018 Much of Meyer’s work takes place online, where riders blow off steam. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 But those efforts were in vain as La Celeste ran out of steam and fell at the penultimate hurdle. SI.com, "World Cup Countdown: 6 Days to Go - Reliving the Fine Career of 2010 Golden Ball Winner Diego Forlan," 8 June 2018 A few miles away, Vincent is leading his teammates out of the woods and onto the field, storming and sprinting and waving the Roncalli FIVE flag – faith, integrity, values, effort – and then running out of steam. Gregg Doyel, Indianapolis Star, "Doyel: This Roncalli coach collapsed. His heart stopped. A defibrillator saved his life.," 21 May 2018 When April comes, its puffs of steam hang briefly in the moist, nippy air, surrounded by as much blue as a ship on a sea. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Will There Always Be an England?," 27 Apr. 2018 Commerzbank, SocGen, Credit Agricole see bull run ending Ten-year bund yields below 0.5 percent makes securities rich The latest rally in euro-area debt is finally running out of steam for Europe’s bond bears. Bloomberg.com, "Bond Bears Battered by Recent Rally See Renewed Sign of Selloff," 4 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One more way to loosen up blockages is by steaming with anti-inflammatory essential oils such as lemongrass, eucalyptus, rosemary, and oregano. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "6 All-Natural Strategies for Fighting the Cold and Flu This Winter," 8 Jan. 2019 Visits to my father's office in Manhattan would yield trips to Wienerwald for foreign sausages steamed with sauerkraut; salty pretzels and charred roast chestnuts from street carts; the mysterious joys of the dirty-water hot dog. Anthony Bourdain, Bon Appetit, "How Anthony Bourdain Came to Be Anthony Bourdain," 8 June 2018 Chandeliers sparkle above a Cuban buffet line steaming with pork, steak, chimichurri, and plantains. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "Where U.S. Special Forces Buy Their Weapons," 23 Apr. 2018 Back then, industrial sites along the Delaware River and nearby rail lines housed a chain of steaming vehicle, oil, steel, and chemical manufacturing plants. Joseph N. Distefano, Philly.com, "Where steel and autos were made, builders plan warehouses for digital America," 13 Apr. 2018 Another customer favorite is The Caffeinated, a vanilla latte with two extra shots of espresso and steamed milk with caramel, chocolate and white chocolate drizzle. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What's better at Caffeinated Café in Mukwonago, the coffee or the food? Answer: It might just be the people!," 11 Apr. 2018 That paves the way for bitter city rivals Manchester United to steam ahead with their own pursuit of Fred after entering the race to try and bring him to England's shores. SI.com, "Man City 'End Interest' in Shakhtar Ace as United Emerge as Favourites for Wantaway Midfielder," 14 Mar. 2018 Inside a Candleholder One of the easiest — and fastest! — ways to get rid of wax residue is to run steaming-hot tap water over the holder, scooping out whatever's inside with your fingers or a paper towel. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Way to Remove Candle Wax from Clothes, Carpet, and More," 24 Dec. 2018 Still, a play that had the rest of the nation cracking up likely had the Seahawks steaming mad. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "What was that, Sebastian Janikowski? Decision not to tackle 49ers returner costly in Seahawks loss," 17 Dec. 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

11 Feb 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 \

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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