Blow off steam and let off steam

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To blow off steam means to release pent-up emotion or energy. There are positive ways to blow off steam as well as negative ways to blow off steam. Exercise is a positive way to blow off steam, yelling at someone is a negative way to blow off steam. Blow off steam is a North American phrase, let off steam is the corresponding British phrase. The terms refer to the boiler on a steam engine, which if heated too much, may explode under the pressure. The addition of the blow off valve to steam-driven machines kept this catastrophe from happening, the terms blow off steam and let off steam began to be used in a figurative sense in 1857.


I was raised around them and go skeet shooting often to blow off steam, which I thoroughly enjoy. (Teen Vogue Magazine)

It provides a way to avoid extreme negatives by creating an option to talk constructively at tense moments or to use communication channels to blow off steam. (The Kashmir Monitor)

So pity those who lack a support network to help them through health care matters, workplace stress and general blowing off steam. (The Japan Times)

Strip clubs weren’t as popular as they had been — a series of mob-related arrests at Scores had taken away some of the gloss — but they were as good a place as any to blow off steam after a day pushing around billions of millions. (New York Magazine)

Each party has the right to a little private and cathartic gossiping to let off steam. (The Telegraph)

Police said the suspect has admitted to the crime, quoting him as saying, “I did it because I wanted to let off steam.” (Asahi Shimbun)

The 27-year-old Swedish beauty donned a skimpy white bikini as she let off steam at the hip resort of Trancoso with pals. (The Daily Mail)