from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

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

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun Vapor; a rising vapor; an exhalation.
  • noun Water in a gaseous state; the gas or vapor of water, especially at temperatures above 100° C.
  • noun Water in a visible vesicular condition produced by the condensation of vapor of water in air.
  • noun Figuratively, force; energy.
  • noun A flame or blaze; a ray of light.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To emit steam or vapor.
  • intransitive verb To rise in vapor; to issue, or pass off, as vapor.
  • intransitive verb To move or travel by the agency of steam.
  • intransitive verb To generate steam.
  • transitive verb obsolete To exhale.
  • transitive verb To expose to the action of steam; to apply steam to for softening, dressing, or preparing
  • noun The elastic, aëriform fluid into which water is converted when heated to the boiling point; water in the state of vapor.
  • noun The mist formed by condensed vapor; visible vapor; -- so called in popular usage.
  • noun Any exhalation.
  • noun steam which does not contain water held in suspension mechanically; -- sometimes applied to superheated steam.
  • noun See under Exhaust.
  • noun steam of which the pressure greatly exceeds that of the atmosphere.
  • noun steam of which the pressure is less than, equal to, or not greatly above, that of the atmosphere.
  • noun steam at the temperature of the boiling point which corresponds to its pressure; -- sometimes also applied to wet steam.
  • noun steam heated to a temperature higher than the boiling point corresponding to its pressure. It can not exist in contact with water, nor contain water, and resembles a perfect gas; -- called also surcharged steam, anhydrous steam, and steam gas.
  • noun steam which contains water held in suspension mechanically; -- called also misty steam.
  • noun A fan blower driven directly by a steam engine.
  • noun a boiler for producing steam. See Boiler, 3, and Note. In the illustration, the shell a of the boiler is partly in section, showing the tubes, or flues, which the hot gases, from the fire beneath the boiler, enter, after traversing the outside of the shell, and through which the gases are led to the smoke pipe d, which delivers them to the chimney; b is the manhole; c the dome; e the steam pipe; f the feed and blow-off pipe; g the safety valve; hthe water gauge.
  • noun a car driven by steam power, or drawn by a locomotive.
  • noun a carriage upon wheels moved on common roads by steam.
  • noun See Steam jacket, under Jacket.


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

[Middle English steme, from Old English stēam.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English stēam



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