1A valve opening automatically to relieve excessive pressure, especially in a boiler.
- He designed a safety valve to prevent the pressure of steam building up to dangerous levels.
- 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.
1.1A means of giving harmless vent to feelings of tension or stress.
- 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.
- Releasing our emotions can act as a safety valve - relieving inner tensions, like steam out of a kettle.
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Syllabification: safe·ty valve
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