head of steam

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From the need of the boiler of a steam locomotive to exceed a minimum amount of pressure (See head (buildup of fluid pressure), also pressure head.) before the locomotive could start moving.


head of steam (plural heads of steam)

  1. (idiomatic) Amount of energy.
    • 2011 January 25, Paul Fletcher, “Arsenal 3 - 0 Ipswich (agg 3 - 1)”, BBC:
      Arsenal were starting to work up a head of steam and Tractor Boys boss Paul Jewell cut an increasingly frustrated figure on the touchline.