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let off steam

This page is about the idiom let off steam


If you let off steam, you do something to release pent-up emotion or energy.

For example

  • After sitting quietly in class all morning, kids need time to let off steam in the playground before going back to class in the afternoon.

  • It'd be good to have a punching bag somewhere in the office so we could let off steam whenever we get a bit angry or frustrated.

To "blow off steam" has the same meaning.

Origin: This idiom probably comes from the fact that boiling water produces steam which creates high pressure that will cause an explosion if it isn't released somehow.

Quick Quiz

Mario needed to let off steam so he

a. went to sleep

b. ran around the house

c. read a book
a) went to sleep b) ran around the house c) read a book

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey