blow off steam

To "blow off steam" means to get rid of stress. You "blow off steam" by doing things like drinking, complaining about work with coworkers, yelling at someone, or maybe doing exercise or playing video games.

This expression comes from the old days of steam-powered engines. When the pressure inside the engine got too high, the engine operators had to let some of the steam out. Stress is like steam that has to be released.


This phrase appears in these lessons: