steam up

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steam up (third-person singular simple present steams up, present participle steaming up, simple past and past participle steamed up)

  1. To become steamy.
  2. To become coated with condensation.
    Synonym: fog up
    The bathroom mirror steamed up when he opened the shower door.
  3. (transitive) To bring (a steam boiler) up to working steam pressure: to build up a head of steam inside (a boiler).
    It takes about an hour to steam up the locomotive.
  4. (intransitive) to build up a head of steam.
    Engine 99 had been steaming up since 21:00.
    • 1919, Joseph Conrad, Typhoon, page 8:
      "The master of the Nan-Shan [...] desired Mr. Rout to have steam up to-morrow afternoon at one o'clock sharp."
  5. (transitive) To cook by steaming.
    I'll steam up a bunch of dumplings.