steam·er | \ˈstē-mər \

Definition of steamer 

1 : a vessel in which articles are subjected to steam

2a : a ship propelled by steam

b : an engine, machine, or vehicle operated or propelled by steam

3 : one that steams

Examples of steamer in a Sentence

We rode a steamer down the Mississippi.

Recent Examples on the Web

Place fish in steamer, cover pot and steam parcels until a cake tester inserted in center of each fillet emerges warm, indicating fish is cooked through, about 6 minutes. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "This Summery Coconut-Spice Halibut Is Great Steamed or Grilled," 26 June 2018 Most of it takes place on boats — from smoke-belching steamers to cargo-bloated barges to slender pirogues carved by ax out of massive trees. Max Bearak, Washington Post, "With Ebola at a “critical point” in Congo, aid groups scramble to limit the outbreak," 2 June 2018 Rub pork tenderloin with chili powder and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt; add to steamer. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Tangy Pulled Pork Sandwiches," 24 Feb. 2017 Visitors can get a haircut and peruse displays of antique and vintage barber equipment, from chairs and striped poles to towel steamers and straight razors. New York Times, "'Barbering Is an Art’," 4 May 2018 As lunch nears, the cutting boards patter, the steamers wheeze, but nothing ever roars above the woks. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018 Amazon’s comedy from Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino has given the steamer its most nominations ever, littering the comedy categories with top nominations for both series and breakout Rachel Brosnahan. Michael O'connell, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: How Netflix Edged HBO and What It Means for This Year's Race," 12 July 2018 Claire still plans to restore the historic steamer following last week's devastating fire and has launched a $500,000 fundraiser to help pay for it. Ann Zaniewski, Detroit Free Press, "Boblo boat Ste. Claire owners launch fundraising campaign to rebuild," 10 July 2018 For the beans: Bring a saucepan fitted with a steamer insert and several inches of water to a boil. Sheryl Julian,, "Recipe: Spanish tuna salad with tomatoes, eggs, olives, and onions will become your summer standby," 9 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'steamer.' 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 steamer

1802, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for steamer

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for steamer

The first known use of steamer was in 1802

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English Language Learners Definition of steamer

: a container in which food is cooked with steam

: a boat or ship that is powered by steam

: a type of clam that has a thin shell and that is often cooked by being steamed


steam·er | \ˈstē-mər \

Kids Definition of steamer

1 : a ship powered by steam

2 : a container in which something is steamed a vegetable steamer

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More from Merriam-Webster on steamer

See words that rhyme with steamer

Spanish Central: Translation of steamer

Britannica English: Translation of steamer for Arabic Speakers

Comments on steamer

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


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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