Meaning of “safety valve” in the English Dictionary

"safety valve" in American English

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safety valvenoun [ C ]

/ˈseɪf·ti ˌvælv/

a device on a machine that allows steam or gas to escape if there is too much pressure:

fig. For people with stressful jobs, weekends in the country can be a good safety valve.

(Definition of “safety valve” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"safety valve" in Business English

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safety valvenoun [ C ]

uk us

PRODUCTION a part of a machine that opens to release pressure if it becomes too high:

The process involves shutting safety valves beneath the water's surface to prevent oil and gas releases.

something in a system or situation that helps when problems become too great:

Experts say there must be a safety valve built into the system to relieve the stress caused by an economic slowdown.
There's no safety valve, like higher air fare prices, to offset higher oil prices.

(Definition of “safety valve” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)