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 Having grown up in extreme poverty and being homeless to now being one of San Diego's most prominent physicians, that's the American Dream, that's the California dream. Fox News, "Immigrant doctor launches recall petition against California Gov. Newsom," 3 Dec. 2019 The high cost of convenience raises concerns about accessibility and sustainability as California seeks to cut emissions — but the dream is short-range air travel that’s green and affordable. Mallory Moench, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area super-commuters take to the skies in planes, helicopters," 2 Dec. 2019 Red Bull Salzburg coach Jesse Marsch is living the European soccer dream and is on a mission to change stereotypes. Ena Bilobrk And Alex Thomas, CNN, "Jesse Marsch: 'I don't just want to be some American guy trying to coach'," 26 Nov. 2019 There’s a familiar tragedy in Ohio, a makeover in New Orleans, the dream of blue Atlantic horizons. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Queen & Slim is an old-fashioned road picture set in a brutally modern America: Review," 25 Nov. 2019 Two decades ago, the dream would have been to take that invention to the public markets, to an IPO. Elizabeth Macbride, Quartz, "How ETFs shrunk the stock market," 23 Nov. 2019 The dream was of a white ethnostate, in which all that was good and true and pioneering about the America of long ago could be restored. ProPublica, "They Are Racist; Some of Them Have Guns. Inside the White Supremacist Group Hiding in Plain Sight.," 13 Nov. 2019 The debut of self-driving cars in Miami has been rather more prosaic than the futuristic and speedy science fiction dream. Scientific American, "Self-driving cars to test city limits," 5 Nov. 2019 According to Variety, this series will showcase the dreams of four generations of a Korean immigrant family and how a forbidden romance takes them to Korea, Japan, and America. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "A Full List of All the Best Apple TV+ Shows and Movies," 30 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This year, the 12 Days of Bucket List Christmas includes twelve trips to dream destinations that the Gee Family have visited. Sophie Dodd, PEOPLE.com, "Need a Vacation? The Instagram-Famous Bucket List Family is Gifting 12 Trips of a Lifetime," 3 Dec. 2019 Kangro, for instance, has dreamed of taking his kids down British Columbia’s Lower Stikine River since they were born. Krista Langlois, Outside Online, "When Is the Right Time to Take Kids on a Big Adventure?," 1 Dec. 2019 The woman who had dreamed of being a mother did everything for the couple’s four children, all born within a five-year span. Mark Johnson, USA Today, "In a Wisconsin village, the doctor makes house calls — and sees the rarest diseases on Earth," 29 Nov. 2019 The one-day event encourages high school girls in Northeast Ohio to live a big life and to dream even bigger. Carol Kovach, cleveland, "Christmas at the Farm, parade, Frosty’s Fest kick off Christmas season in Parma: Sun Postings," 25 Nov. 2019 Players dream of glorious triple-​triples, massive-value words that span across two separate Triple Word Score premium squares. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "How Scrabble Pros Bend Words to Their Will," 10 Nov. 2019 De Jong's transfer to La Blaugrana and his initial performances allowed the Camp Nou faithful to dream of a new Andres Iniesta, a second-coming of Xavi, or the heir to the ageing Sergio Busquets' throne. SI.com, "Frenkie de Jong Is Not Only the Heir to Barcelona's Midfield Throne, He's a Legend in the Making," 20 Oct. 2019 Different city on a hill Trump has helped make the New Right’s way of looking at things much more politically and socially acceptable – in a way none of its members had likely dared to dream before the election of November 2016. Sylvia Taschka, The Conversation, "Trump’s America shines bright for Europe’s radical New Right," 7 Oct. 2019 There are now 600,000 basketball courts in China, giving players plenty of places to dream of becoming the next Mr Yao. The Economist, "Competition between sports for fans’ money and attention is increasingly fierce," 5 Oct. 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

6 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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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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