Definition of pick up (or get up) steam in US English:

pick up (or get up) steam


  • 1Generate enough pressure to drive a steam engine.

  • 2(of a project in its early stages) gradually gain more impetus and driving force.

    ‘his campaign steadily picked up steam’
    • ‘The experience of the past year has forced the company to reorient its strategy, including a few steps in reverse, in order to pick up steam.’
    • ‘Television star Thompson entered the race later than the other candidates and has yet to pick up the steam on the campaign.’