• Steam Skidder at Work. Grant County, Arkansas
    Steam Skidder at Work. Grant County, Arkansas
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v steam cook something by letting steam pass over it "just steam the vegetables"
    • v steam clean by means of steaming "steam-clean the upholstered sofa"
    • v steam get very angry "her indifference to his amorous advances really steamed the young man"
    • v steam travel by means of steam power "The ship steamed off into the Pacific"
    • v steam rise as vapor
    • v steam emit steam "The rain forest was literally steaming"
    • n steam water at boiling temperature diffused in the atmosphere
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

The steam-roller (English) at work The steam-roller (English) at work
Branca's steam turbine Branca's steam turbine
Compound steam turbine Compound steam turbine
Steam hammer Steam hammer
Steam powered vessel Clermont Steam powered vessel Clermont
Steam harvester Steam harvester
Locomobile steam carriage Locomobile steam carriage
Locomobile steam engine Locomobile steam engine

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A rocket-like device can be traced back to Ancient Greece when a flying steam-powered pigeon was built out of wood.
    • Steam Any exhalation. "A steam of rich, distilled perfumes."
    • Steam The elastic, aëriform fluid into which water is converted when heated to the boiling point; water in the state of vapor.
    • Steam The mist formed by condensed vapor; visible vapor; -- so called in popular usage.
    • Steam To emit steam or vapor. "My brother's ghost hangs hovering there,
      O'er his warm blood, that steams into the air."
      "Let the crude humors dance
      In heated brass, steaming with fire intense."
    • Steam To exhale.
    • Steam To expose to the action of steam; to apply steam to for softening, dressing, or preparing; as, to steam wood; to steamcloth; to steam food, etc.
    • Steam To generate steam; as, the boiler steams well.
    • Steam To move or travel by the agency of steam. "The vessel steamed out of port."
    • Steam To rise in vapor; to issue, or pass off, as vapor. "The dissolved amber . . . steamed away into the air."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: James Ramsey invented a steam-driven motorboat in 1784. He ran it on the Potomac River in an event witnessed by George Washington.
    • n steam Vapor; a rising vapor; an exhalation.
    • n steam Water in a gaseous state; the gas or vapor of water, especially at temperatures above 100° C. It has a specific gravity of 625 as compared with air under the same pressure. It liquefies at 100° C. (212° F), under a pressure of 14.7 pounds upon a square inch, or the mean pressure of the atmosphere at the sea-level. The temperature at which it liquefies diminishes with the pressure. Steam constantly rises from the surface of liquid water when not obstructed by impervious inclosures or covered by another gas already saturated with it. Its total latent heat of vaporization for 1 pound weight under a pressure of 76 centimeters of mercury (or 14.7 pounds to the square inch) is 965.7 British thermal units, or 536.5 calories for each kilogram. Its specific heat under constant pressure is 4805. (Regnault.) It is decomposed into oxygen and hvdrogen at temperatures between 1,000° and 2,000° C. (Deville.) In addition to the surface evaporation of water, the change from the liquid to the gaseous state takes place beneath the surface (the gas escaping with ebullition) whenever the temperature of the liquid is raised without a corresponding increase of pressure upon it. The temperature at which this occurs under any particular pressure is the boilingpoint for that pressure. The boiling-point of water under the atmospheric pressure at the sea-level is 100° C. or 212° F. Saturated steam has the physical properties common to all gases whose temperatures are near those of their liquefying-points, or the boiling-points of their liquids. Saturated steam when isolated, and superheated at temperatures from 100° to 110° C, and under constant pressure, expands with a given increase of temperature about five times as much as air, and at 186° C. about twice as much as air; and it must be raised to a temperature much higher than this before it will expand uniformly like air. The large quantity of latent heat in steam, its great elasticity, and the ease with which it may be condensed have rendered its use in engines more practicable than that of any other gaseous medium for the generation and application of mechanical power.
    • n steam Water in a visible vesicular condition produced by the condensation of vapor of water in air.
    • n steam Figuratively, force; energy.
    • n steam A flame or blaze; a ray of light.
    • steam To give out steam or vapor; exhale any kind of fume or vapor.
    • steam To rise in a vaporous form; pass off in visible vapor.
    • steam To move or travel by the agency of steam: as, the vessel steamed into port.
    • steam To flame or blaze up.
    • steam To exhale; evaporate.
    • steam 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.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Charlotte Dundas, a paddle-wheel steamboat, was the world's first steam-powered vessel, not Robert Fulton's Clermont. In 1802, five years before Fulton's famous ship took sail, The Dundas was a steam-powered tugboat in Great Britain.
    • n Steam stēm the vapour of water—when dry, invisible and transparent like air, and not to be confused with the semi-liquid cloud which comes from the chimney of a locomotive; when superheated, changing the characteristics of a vapour for those belonging to what is known as a 'perfect gas:' the mist formed by condensed vapour: any vaporous exhalation: energy, force, spirit
    • v.i Steam to rise or pass off in steam or vapour: to move by steam
    • v.t Steam to expose to steam
    • ***


  • Henry Ward Beecher
    “God made man to go by motives, and he will not go without them, any more than a boat without steam or a balloon without gas.”
  • Edwin Hubbel Chapin
    “Whatever touches the nerves of motive, whatever shifts man's moral position, is mightier than steam, or calorie, or lightening.”
  • Charles Baudelaire
    “True Civilization does not lie in gas, nor in steam, nor in turn-tables. It lies in the reduction of the traces of original sin.”


Blow off steam - (USA) If you blow off steam, you express your anger or frustration.
Gather steam - If something gathers speed, it moves or progresses at an increasing speed.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. stem, steem, vapor, flame, AS. steám, vapor, smoke, odor; akin to D. stoom, steam, perhaps originally, a pillar, or something rising like a pillar; cf. Gr. sty`ein to erect, sty^los a pillar, and E. stand,


In literature:

Steam therefore was accepted at the first only as an accessory, for emergencies.
"From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life" by Captain A. T. Mahan
The river flotilla comprised eleven well-armed steam gunboats.
"Khartoum Campaign, 1898" by Bennet Burleigh
The use of the steam-yacht was given to him to accomplish this purpose.
"Asiatic Breezes" by Oliver Optic
Transport boats are steaming to Newbern, laden with the Federal troops and provisions of the place.
"Reminiscences of Two Years in the United States Navy" by John M. Batten
But just before war was declared von Spee and his squadron steamed off into the open seas.
"World's War Events, Vol. I" by Various
Without so much as a toot of the whistle, his steam launch kept drawing closer and closer to Jerry's side.
"The Young Oarsmen of Lakeview" by Ralph Bonehill
The heat of evaporation may be supplied either by superheated steam or by steam pipes within the kiln itself.
"Seasoning of Wood" by Joseph B. Wagner
They began in May, 1914, with sharp explosions of steam and smoke from the summit crater.
"The Book of the National Parks" by Robert Sterling Yard
To steam this course yourself, you must make the proper correction for your compass error.
"Lectures in Navigation" by Ernest Gallaudet Draper
In the steam turbine the steam instead of being expanded against a piston is made to expand against and to get up velocity in itself.
"Steam Turbines" by Hubert E. Collins

In poetry:

And on that morning, through the grass
And by the steaming rills
We travelled merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.
"The Two April Mornings" by William Wordsworth
Had sat upon a mossy ledge,
O'er Baiae in the morning's beams,
Or where the sulphurous crater steams
Had hung suspended from the edge:
"The Meetings Of The Flowers" by Denis Florence MacCarthy
Look on the travellers kneeling,
In thankful gladness, here,
As the boat that brought them o'er the lake,
Goes steaming from the pier.
"Arrival In The Land Of Freedom" by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Along that road were toil and strife
And clang from dusky things of steam,
But still to sweeten all that life
Was something of the poet's dream.
"The Portrait" by Alexander Anderson
Noo the bodies are gane, an' their dwallin's awa,
An' the place whaur they stood I scarce ken noo ava,
For there's roarin' o' steam, an' there's reengin' o' wheels,
Men workin', an' sweatin', an' swearin' like deils.
"A Wheen Aul' Memories" by Janet Hamilton
I remember my long journey, like a dull, oppressive dream,
Across the empty prairies till I caught the distant gleam
Of a city in the beauty of its broad and shining stream
On whose bosom, flocked together, float the mighty swans of
"George Mullen's Confession" by James Whitcomb Riley

In news:

More than 600,000 coffeemakers are being voluntarily recalled in the United States and Canada due to an apparent brewing malfunction that can release a gusher of steaming water and grounds.
But like kale, spinach or chard, collards can be sauteed or steamed and stirred into any recipe that calls for greens.
'Take This Waltz' deftly steps through marriage losing steam.
Sofia Vergara is steaming things up on the April cover of Esquire, on stands March 27.
Best way to prepare is w/ a little bit of olive oil, salt pepper and steamed appx.
Dolby 's Atmos gaining steam.
Despite the name of "steamed dumplings " for this dish, all the dumplings on the menu are steamed.
We opted for the Dim Sum Basket ($14.95), a combination of the restaurant's three most popular dishes — three steamed Crystal Shrimp dumplings , three Sui Mai and three fried shrimp and chive dumplings .
Sweeties, the steamed dumplings are to die for.
What's involved in changing from an electric motor to a steam turbine.
We are considering changing the electric motor drive on our air compressor to a steam turbine to reduce available steam letdowns.
We do not have any steam turbines and so do not know much about them.
These Hollywood hunks definitely know how to steam up the shoreline.
In the wake of its banquet's steaming wreckage, REBNY keeps the big announcements rolling.
The Steam Railroading Institute is best known for their all-day steam excursions.

In science:

After entering the reactor, the magnetic monopoles should have interacted both with the 238U nuclei and the nuclei emitting the delayed neutrons, which resulted in the growth of reactivity and hence, rise up of the power and the steam explosion.
On the possible physical mechanism of Chernobyl catastrophe and the unsoundness of official conclusion
These are certainly not helpful to give a detailed insight into this most interesting physics: The original ob jects of Thermodynamics, steam engines, work exactly at phase-separation.
"Qualms" from Lavenda, cond-mat/0311270
The LTA could process the incoming data steam locally.
Cloud and the City: Facilitating Flexible Access Control over Data Streams
We justify this constraint by showing a example in which one can reconstruct the raw data steam by combining outputs from multiple aggregation windows of different window sizes or advance steps.
Cloud and the City: Facilitating Flexible Access Control over Data Streams
As with the steams of water, the intuition is that the RG always flows “downward.” This was proven in 2d by Zamolodchikov 1 for any unitary theory.
"Non-Perturbative Methods" in Field Theory