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

Now, seven years after her untimely death, that dream is coming true. Fox News, "Jenni Rivera biopic in the works with her family's support," 18 June 2019 Now, seven years after her untimely death, that dream is coming true. Washington Post, "Jenni Rivera biopic in the works with her family’s support," 18 June 2019 Anything can, and should, be on the table now that their Anthony Davis dream is dead. Ben Golliver, The Denver Post, "2019 NBA mock draft: How will Pelicans build around Zion Williamson?," 18 June 2019 And tired eyes grow bright again, And careworn faces smile; And dreams are sweet and moments fleet, And hearts are free from guile. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: L. Frank Baum at Coronado," 16 June 2019 But this dream was secondary to another, more urgent desire that beat inside his body like a pulse. Sarah Holt, CNN, "Charlie Martin: Transgender driver chases Le Mans 24 Hour race dream," 14 June 2019 Now, that dream is becoming a reality this weekend at IndyFringe. Emily Sabens, Indianapolis Star, "He wrote hundreds of poems about his abuse by a Catholic priest. Now his words are a play," 14 June 2019 On the cusp of its centennial anniversary, the dream is ending, or at least taking a long pause. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Nearing the century mark, downtown St. Paul’s James J. Hill Center to close in July," 11 June 2019 Her dream is to own a wedding planning business and to hire and help victims. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "St. Columbkille, Holy Family students receive tuition aid from Brookside Gives Back Fund: Sun Postings," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Nick was passionate about soccer, fishing, playing his guitar, playing sports, the Green Bay Packers, and a real love for animals and dreamed of someday becoming a veterinarian. courant.com, "Nicholas Ryan Hardegen," 18 June 2019 Now the company, whose members not only do theater but perform as a band, returns with this world-premiere musical take on Kate DiCamillo’s Newberry Medal-winning children’s book about a brave mouse who dreams of becoming a knight. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Summer arts | Theater: ‘Almost Famous,’ ‘Rock of Ages,’ ‘Tale of Despereaux’ and more," 16 June 2019 That's partly why two friends who've long dreamed of owning a place have selected Logan Street Market for their first venture. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "Your complete guide to Louisville's Logan Street Market with 25+ vendors and restaurants," 5 June 2019 The gesture meant the world to Morey, who dreamed of meeting a princess – and also felt the support of her entire school. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Entire school learns sign language to welcome kindergartener who is deaf," 4 June 2019 By the age of twenty, Whitman was a school teacher and an experienced journalist, already dreaming of his own literary career. Elaine Showalter, The New York Review of Books, "Whitman, Melville, & Julia Ward Howe: A Tale of Three Bicentennials," 27 May 2019 Much of the credit goes to Gene Shoemaker, who dreamed of going to the moon well before the space race popularized the idea in the early 1960s. Anna Groves, Discover Magazine, "Training Apollo's First Lunar Scientists," 20 May 2019 And the Italian writer Carlo Collodi created the character of Pinocchio, a wooden puppet that dreams of being a real boy. Ferris Jabr, Harper's magazine, "The Story of Storytelling," 10 Mar. 2019 Ant-Man and the Wasp finds Ant-Man in his bathtub, dreaming of Michelle Pfeiffer. Gary Thompson, Philly.com, "'Ant-Man and The Wasp': Lacks sting of original," 4 July 2018

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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Statistics for dream

Last Updated

21 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dream

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

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More Definitions for dream

dream

noun

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dream

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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