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

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Other Words from dream

Noun

dreamful \ ˈdrēm-​fəl How to pronounce dreamful (audio) \ adjective
dreamfully \ ˈdrēm-​fə-​lē How to pronounce dreamfully (audio) \ adverb
dreamfulness noun
dreamless adjective
dreamlessly adverb
dreamlessness noun
dreamlike \ ˈdrēm-​ˌlīk How to pronounce dreamlike (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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For me, this is one big dream to play for this club. Ben Church, CNN, "Tottenham's new loan signing Gedson Fernandes hoping to emulate Cristiano Ronaldo," 15 Jan. 2020 Might there be a few costly wins in that package, dispatching all those lottery dreams? Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "In despair, Warriors cling to big-picture mentality," 14 Jan. 2020 The workgroups are tasked with figuring out how to make those dreams a reality. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "How far has Cleveland Rising come in building a better city?," 13 Jan. 2020 All art aspires to the condition of music, Walter Pater wrote; within music itself, all music dreams of becoming another kind of music. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "The Pleasure and Pain of Being Cole Porter," 13 Jan. 2020 Kitchen Island When designing his dream kitchen, Hewson wanted a space fit for entertaining. Sally Kuchar, Sunset Magazine, "Sunset’s 2019 Idea House Gets Outfitted by LA Designer Superstars ETC.etera," 13 Jan. 2020 Bertone etched his name in FC Cincinnati lore with a dream goal in the club's first-ever Major League Soccer match against Seattle Sounders. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "Leonardo Bertone is leaving FC Cincinnati for Switzerland's FC Thun," 13 Jan. 2020 Tashonna and her mother had the dream relationship everybody would want to have with a parent. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Milwaukee woman who sat in the ER with chest pain for hours left because of the wait time — and died soon after," 11 Jan. 2020 Renowned artist Carlos Cruz-Diez, who died in 2019, is the subject of a documentary that focuses on his final, impossible-dream project. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Free Color': Film Review| Palm Springs 2020," 10 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Katy Keene follows the lives of a group of twentysomething dreamers in New York City, including Jorge (Jonny Beauchamp), who dreams of making it on Broadway. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Exclusive: Katy Keene will slay with a screening and panel at BroadwayCon," 10 Jan. 2020 For decades, the left has dreamed of building an organization to rival the American Legislative Exchange Council, the conservative group that has crafted and coordinated Republican legislation in the states since the early 1970s. Alan Greenblatt, The New Republic, "Have Democrats Found Their ALEC?," 3 Jan. 2020 Hardworking 20-somethings who don’t dream of founding a startup or landing on Saturday Night Live may still find enormous value in making their own stuff during their off-time. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Young and ambitious? Don’t devote nights and weekends to your employer—do this instead," 26 Dec. 2019 Ambedkar, who dreamed that a democratic constitution would gradually make society more tolerant, would be downcast today. The Economist, "Unite and rule India’s constitution helped sustain the world’s biggest democracy," 12 Dec. 2019 And then there’s KiKi, who dreams of moving out of her family’s home in Shively. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's $15 billion problem: 17,000 young people are out of school and out of work," 11 Dec. 2019 With his signature on-screen amiability (even when his character is being difficult or grumpy), Redmayne plays real-life scientist James Glaisher, who dreams of a future advanced through the study of meteorology. Tomris Laffly, chicagotribune.com, "'The Aeronauts’ review: 'The Theory of Everything’ co-stars Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones reteam for some quality time in the sky," 2 Dec. 2019 Great for the players, too, who dreamed about playing for a national championship. John Canzano | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Canzano: Judging the Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers by different standards," 1 Dec. 2019 Karwai TangGetty Images Royal fans who dream of traveling like the British royal family are in luck, thanks to a new travel package designed to mimic Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's recent tour of Africa. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "This $7,395 Travel Package Lets You Recreate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Tour of Africa," 9 Nov. 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for dream

Last Updated

18 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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More Definitions for dream

dream

noun
How to pronounce dream (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep
: an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real
: something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time

dream

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dream (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have visions and thoughts in your sleep : to have a dream while you are sleeping
: to think about something that you wish would happen or something that you want to do or be

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dream

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dream

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dream

Spanish Central: Translation of 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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