Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The vapor phase of water.
  • n. A mist of cooling water vapor.
  • n. Pressurized water vapor used for heating, cooking, or to provide mechanical power.
  • n. The power produced by a machine using pressurized water vapor.
  • n. Steam heating.
  • n. Power; energy.
  • intransitive v. To produce or emit steam.
  • intransitive v. To become or rise up as steam.
  • intransitive v. To become misted or covered with steam.
  • intransitive v. To move by means of steam power.
  • intransitive v. Informal To become very angry; fume.
  • transitive v. To expose to steam, as in cooking.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The vapor formed when water changes from liquid phase to gas phase.
  • n. Pressurized water vapour used for heating, cooking, or to provide mechanical energy.
  • n. Internal energy for motive power.
  • n. Pent-up anger.
  • n. A steam-powered vehicle.
  • n. Travel by means of a steam-powered vehicle
  • v. To cook with steam.
  • v. To expose to the action of steam; to apply steam to for softening, dressing, or preparing.
  • v. To produce or vent steam.
  • v. To become angry; to fume; to be incensed.
  • v. To make angry.
  • v. To be covered with condensed water vapor.
  • v. To travel by means of steam power.
  • v. To move with great or excessive purposefulness.
  • v. To exhale.
  • adj. Old-fashioned; from before the digital age.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The elastic, aëriform fluid into which water is converted when heated to the boiling point; water in the state of vapor.
  • n. The mist formed by condensed vapor; visible vapor; -- so called in popular usage.
  • n. Any exhalation.
  • intransitive v. To emit steam or vapor.
  • intransitive v. To rise in vapor; to issue, or pass off, as vapor.
  • intransitive v. To move or travel by the agency of steam.
  • intransitive v. To generate steam.
  • transitive v. To exhale.
  • transitive v. To expose to the action of steam; to apply steam to for softening, dressing, or preparing

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To give out steam or vapor; exhale any kind of fume or vapor.
  • To rise in a vaporous form; pass off in visible vapor.
  • To move or travel by the agency of steam: as, the vessel steamed into port.
  • To flame or blaze up.
  • To exhale; evaporate.
  • To treat with steam; expose to steam; apply steam to for any purpose: as, to steam cloth; to steam potatoes instead of boiling them; to steam food for cattle; steamed bread.
  • n. Vapor; a rising vapor; an exhalation.
  • n. Water in a gaseous state; the gas or vapor of water, especially at temperatures above 100° C.
  • n. Water in a visible vesicular condition produced by the condensation of vapor of water in air.
  • n. Figuratively, force; energy.
  • n. A flame or blaze; a ray of light.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. rise as vapor
  • v. emit steam
  • v. travel by means of steam power
  • v. get very angry
  • v. cook something by letting steam pass over it
  • v. clean by means of steaming
  • n. water at boiling temperature diffused in the atmosphere

Etymologies

Middle English steme, from Old English stēam.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Old English stēam (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The percentage by weight of steam in a mixture of steam and water is called the _quality of the steam_.

    Steam, Its Generation and Use

  • So, this is what we called steam fog, which is developed across the area, really kind of an eerie sight to wake up and see that kind of hovering over the ocean.

    CNN Transcript Jan 10, 2010

  • Now they had made a thing which they called a steam-ram, an iron-covered boat, like unto a serpent, even like unto the evil beast which crawleth upon its belly, eating dirt, as do many of those who made it.

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 2, February, 1862 Devoted To Literature And National Policy

  • Albany in what he called a steam vessel named the _Clermont_.

    Pushing to the Front

  • A thousand generations had lived and died, an immense volume of history had been enacted, the heroes of all the ages, and almost those of our own time, had fulfilled their destinies and passed away, before it came about that a mere physical fact should fill a larger place in our lives than all examples, and that the evanescent vapor which we call steam should change daily, and effectively, the courses and modes of human action, and erect life upon another plane.

    Steam, Steel and Electricity

  • Simmering down: A small plume of ash, dust and steam is seen coming from the Iceland volcano which caused travel chaos

    Photo Gallery of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull Volcano | Impact Lab

  • Haig, bald and fuming as if steam is about to issue not only from his ears but also from his fingertips, always stands at a 60-degree angle -- or darts here and there at the same tottering slant.

    David Finkle: First Nighter: Yes, Prime Minister Prime Stage Comedy Meat

  • He says demand won't really gain steam until passengers feel that the recession is firmly in the rearview mirror and it is safe to spend.

    Delta Air Lines CFO urges restraint on capacity

  • Only once the independent comics (aka "comix") movement gathered steam from the late 1980s to early in the new millennium did at least a portion of the industry dare to provide the variety of sequential-art narratives that would appeal to a large audience.

    The Myth of the Fall of the American Comic Book

  • On the other hand, you can steam only one layer of veg at a time if the steam is to surround and cook them evenly; steaming also takes longer than boiling, because boiling water dissolves and extracts some pectin and calcium from the cell walls, and steaming doesn't.

    Food for Fort: To peel or not to peel tomatoes, and other stories

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