Definition of safety valve in English:

safety valve

noun

  • 1A valve that opens automatically to relieve excessive pressure.

    • ‘When engineers build systems to manage enormous pressure, they usually design in points of release known as safety valves.’
    • ‘With a garden hose connected to this safety valve, you can direct some of the overflow after a heavy rain out into the garden.’
    • ‘The harnessing of solar energy by photosynthesis depends on a safety valve that effectively eliminates hazardous excess energy and prevents oxidative damage to the plant cells.’
    • ‘I wasn't satisfied with the strength of the cylinders in which the pressurised, volatile mixture was carried, and I wanted more tests carried out on the safety valve intended to prevent blowbacks.’
    • ‘If total resistance is low, perhaps due to an internal short circuit in a motor, current flows so fast it can overheat the wire and burn through the insulation, unless there is a safety valve, such as a fuse.’
    • ‘With no systematic way to address errors, the network has no built-in safety valve that allows it to correct the record.’
    • ‘By 1865 the safety valve was fast disappearing.’
    • ‘As a result, they knew how the plant functioned and understood that some releases functioned as a safety valve.’
    • ‘He designed a safety valve to prevent the pressure of steam building up to dangerous levels.’
    • ‘Under normal conditions, the kidneys act as a safety valve to eliminate glucose above a certain threshold and prevent further accumulation.’
    1. 1.1 A means of giving harmless vent to feelings of tension or stress.
      ‘laughter may be a safety valve that reduces tension’
      • ‘Showing images of mere reversal may in fact provide a safety valve for the social tensions that the women's movement has created by demanding a more dominant role for women.’
      • ‘Certain elements within the ruling class regarded the party as a useful potential safety valve amid mounting social tensions.’
      • ‘They sometimes tolerated a certain level of unauthorised absenteeism, recognising that it could function as a relatively harmless safety valve for the anger and resentments of enslaved people.’
      • ‘This was intended to act as a safety valve at times of mounting international pressure.’
      • ‘Art is not a challenge, it turns out, of existing institutions, but a relatively harmless substitute for such a challenge, a safety valve.’
      • ‘Even worse, they continue, is the possibility that the governments of India and China will build up huge armies in order to provide a safety valve for the young men's aggressive energies.’
      • ‘He's finding working life immensely stressful, and the reckless boozing feels like a safety valve for him.’
      • ‘In this way the community meetings act as a safety valve, allowing the local people to come together, ask questions and learn the truth.’
      • ‘As a safety valve for parents who desperately need alternatives to schools in catastrophic condition, vouchers may work as a short-term balm, and as a prod to reform.’
      • ‘The Times affords itself no similar set of safety valves to release steam when the paper becomes the issue.’
      • ‘But humor is a strange thing: it's a psychological safety valve, a means of voicing ‘unacceptable’ feelings.’
      • ‘The idea that talking about your feelings functions as a kind of safety valve, allowing psychic pressure to be vented just as excess steam is allowed to escape from a blocked pipe, is sometimes referred to as the cathartic theory of emotion.’
      • ‘Releasing our emotions can act as a safety valve - relieving inner tensions, like steam out of a kettle.’
      • ‘I've seen every journal and notebook I've ever owned as a safety valve against the steam that just natural builds up the pressure in my mind and heart.’
      use, medium, means of expression, mode of expression, vehicle
      View synonyms

Pronunciation

safety valve