Run out of Steam (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Run out of Steam"?

The term "run out of steam" means to be completely out of energy.
Run out of Steam (Origin)
The term "to run out of steam" originates from the USA in the late 19th century. It refers to a steam engine slowing and eventually stopping as its fire cools and produces less steam. Nowadays, it is used almost entirely figuratively with steam being a synonym for energy or drive.

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

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