dream

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdrēm How to pronounce dream (audio) \

Definition of dream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep had a dream about climbing a mountain gives me bad dreams — compare rem sleep
2 : an experience of waking life having the characteristics of a dream: such as
a : a visionary (see visionary entry 1 sense 2a) creation of the imagination : daydream the dreams of her youth
b : a state of mind marked by abstraction or release from reality : reverie walking around in a dream
c : an object seen in a dreamlike state : vision a man that was her dream come true
3 : something notable for its beauty, excellence, or enjoyable quality the new car is a dream to operate
4a : a strongly desired goal or purpose a dream of becoming president
b : something that fully satisfies a wish : ideal a meal that was a gourmet's dream

dream

verb
dreamed\ ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) , ˈdrēmd How to pronounce dream (audio) \ or dreamt\ ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) \; dreaming\ ˈdrē-​miŋ How to pronounce dream (audio) \

Definition of dream (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to have a series of thoughts, images, or emotions while sleeping : to have a dream (see dream entry 1 sense 1) doesn't recall dreaming last night dream of departed loved ones
2 : to indulge in daydreams or fantasies dreaming of a better future
3 : to appear tranquil or dreamy (see dreamy sense 3a) houses dream in leafy shadows— Gladys Taber

transitive verb

1 : to have a dream of dreamt that he was running in the woods
2 : to consider as a possibility : imagine never dreamed I would become a teacher
3 : to pass (time) in reverie or inaction dreaming the hours away
dream of
: to consider possible or fitting wouldn't dream of disturbing you

Other Words from dream

Noun

dreamful \ ˈdrēm-​fəl How to pronounce dream (audio) \ adjective
dreamfully \ ˈdrēm-​fə-​lē How to pronounce dream (audio) \ adverb
dreamfulness noun
dreamless adjective
dreamlessly adverb
dreamlessness noun
dreamlike \ ˈdrēm-​ˌlīk How to pronounce dream (audio) \ adjective

Did you know?

Not until the 13th century was our word dream used in the sense of “a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep.” The word itself is considerably older. In Old English dream means “joy,” “noise,” or “music.” Yet the change in meaning did not come from the development of a more specialized sense. Rather it appears that after many Scandinavian conflicts, conquests, and settlements in Britain the Old Norse draumr, meaning “a dream during sleep,” influenced the meaning of the etymologically related, English word. By the end of the 14th century the earlier meanings had been entirely replaced.

Examples of dream in a Sentence

Noun He had a dream about climbing a mountain. You were in my dream last night. I've found the man of my dreams. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would be so much fun. If you think the work will be easy, you're living in a dream world. He has had a lifelong dream of becoming an actor. It's a dream of mine to own a house in the country. Tell me your hopes and dreams. Making it to the Olympics was a dream come true. Verb Did it really happen or did I just dream it? He tends to dream big but he never really does the things he dreams of doing. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Sailing around the world has been a dream for both weekend warriors and armchair sailors alike. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, 31 July 2022 Is there a dream of joining a specific type of film or franchise? Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 July 2022 Being a member of the American Academy of Chefs has been a dream for Cabrera for more than 20 years. Bahar Anooshahr, The Arizona Republic, 24 July 2022 For bargain-hunting gourmands, Restaurant Week is a dream. Anne Quito, Quartz, 24 July 2022 Considered a luxury fabric, linen can be hard to fit into your budget, so finding an option for a bedroom staple item in a high-end fabric blend on sale is a dream. Annie Burdick, PEOPLE.com, 21 July 2022 These new hotels are a dream to behold on the island of Hvar, Croatia. Shelby Knick, Forbes, 16 July 2022 There once was a dream called the Republic of China. William Han, CNN, 15 July 2022 Being a dancehall sensation was not a dream shared by her family, who often pushed her towards other stable careers. Walaa Elsiddig, Billboard, 13 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In other words, while the process of fermentation as a whole is magic, the taste of ferments is magical, too: savory and sour in a way non-fermented foods could only dream of being. Julia Skinner, Longreads, 16 July 2022 Now that the telescope has been successfully deployed in its unique position in space, its advanced instruments will be able to gather data on questions that scientists once could only dream of answering. Quanta Magazine, 18 May 2022 Rich Uncle would never dream of visiting India or spending more than a few days in any part of Africa—unless it’s on safari, of course. Adam Reiner, Bon Appétit, 22 July 2022 According to ancient folklore, those who put at least seven different flowers under their pillows on midsummer would dream of their future partner. Annabelle Timsit, Washington Post, 21 June 2022 But don’t even dream about hopping the chain link fence. Sunset Magazine, 9 May 2022 Only a loan shark would dream of risking a dime on Ryan, as Keith would instantly have known. New York Times, 2 May 2022 Great athletes wouldn't dream of going into competition without a warm-up. Trish Blackwell, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 Platforms like PayPal, Square, Apple, and Google know more about their customers than most banks could dream of knowing. Ron Shevlin, Forbes, 5 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dream.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of dream

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for dream

Noun and Verb

Middle English dreem, from Old English drēam noise, joy, and Old Norse draumr dream; akin to Old High German troum dream

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Time Traveler for dream

Time Traveler

The first known use of dream was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near dream

dreadnought

dream

dream away

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for dream

Last Updated

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for dream

dream

noun
\ ˈdrēm How to pronounce dream (audio) \

Kids Definition of dream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a series of thoughts or visions that occur during sleep
3 : something very pleasing Our vacation was a dream.
4 : a goal that is wished for It's her dream to travel.

dream

verb
dreamed\ ˈdremt , ˈdrēmd \ or dreamt\ ˈdremt \; dreaming\ ˈdrē-​miŋ \

Kids Definition of dream (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to have a series of thoughts or visions while sleeping
2 : to spend time having daydreams
3 : to think of as happening or possible I dream of a better world.
dream up
: to think of or invent Did you dream up this plan?

Other Words from dream

dreamer \ ˈdrē-​mər \ noun

dream

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdrēm How to pronounce dream (audio) \

Medical Definition of dream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep and especially during REM sleep — compare daydream

dream

verb
\ ˈdrēm How to pronounce dream (audio) \
dreamed\ ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) , ˈdrēmd How to pronounce dream (audio) \ or dreamt\ ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) \; dreaming\ ˈdrē-​miŋ How to pronounce dream (audio) \

Medical Definition of dream (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to have a dream
2 : to indulge in daydreams or fantasies

transitive verb

: to have a dream of

Other Words from dream

dreamer \ ˈdrē-​mər How to pronounce dream (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dream

Nglish: Translation of dream for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dream for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dream

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