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 \ -​fəl How to pronounce dreamful (audio) \ adjective
dreamfully \ -​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

But for some, this dream is a stellar, adventurous, and unpredictable reality. Alex Aronson, Redbook, "Travel Influencers Share Their Favorite Things About #VanLife," 29 Mar. 2019 From the wedding dress photo shoot to the final scene when Carrie returns to the closet of every woman's dream to collect her blue Manolo Blahniks, there's more than enough glamorous fashion moments to enjoy in between the tears and laughter. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "The 10 Best Fashion Movies That Aren't The Devil Wears Prada," 24 Dec. 2018 My dream is to pick a topic, pick a war, pick a decision that has consequence and just report the hell out of it for like three years, and just have this really definitive account of something that has really big public import. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Axios’ Jonathan Swan explains what the press gets wrong about the Trump administration," 6 Dec. 2018 Onia: Make sure to get all of the dream beachy pieces from Onia throughout Cyber Monday. Glamour, "All The Cyber Monday Fashion Deals You Need to Know," 25 Nov. 2018 Terrified and in agony over her closeted life, J.J. attempted suicide, and the entire game is a sort of near-death fever dream where J.J.’s identity swims between liminal spaces — closeted and out, alive and dead, whole and in literal pieces. Julie Muncy, The Verge, "This queer horror game forces you to literally tear yourself apart," 8 Nov. 2018 DeLunas rode the embers of his pitching dream into a journeyman college career, playing at three different small colleges, but ultimately went undrafted. Alexa Philippou, The Seattle Times, "The most interesting man in baseball? It might be Mariners bullpen coach Brian DeLunas," 28 Aug. 2018 The dream of the couple, who are engaged, is for Cheyenne to get a job working with children and for Mark to find employment as a carpenter or welder. Tracy Saelinger, Woman's Day, "This Nurse Helps New Moms When They're Most Vulnerable," 8 Jan. 2019 Of course, having a personal stylist is the dream, but the next-best thing is Amazon’s Echo Look. Alexandria Haslam, PCWorld, "Step up your fashion sense with the Amazon Echo Look for 50% off," 6 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

A decade before William Van Alen ever dreamed about a skyscraper on 42nd St., all that stood at the current site of the Chrysler Building was a five-story structure with a cigar store at ground level. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 Get away from the bustle of City Centre at the Aberdeen lodge, a Bed & Breakfast right out of your Leap Year dreams. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "The 10 Best Vacations You Can Take With Your Tax Refund," 18 Mar. 2019 The group nurtured dreams of politicians who cared and dreamed of kicking the BIE out of the canyon. Alden Woods, azcentral, "In the Grand Canyon, Havasupai parents want to regain control over failing school," 10 July 2018 To behold this world, invisible to the naked human eye but dazzlingly amplified on the screen, is marvelously transporting: Who hasn’t dreamed of swimming in rainbow sherbet? Justin Chang, latimes.com, "'Ant-Man and the Wasp' is a bright, cheery tonic from the Marvel superhero factory," 27 June 2018 Like Deion Jones before him, White brings closing ability in the middle of LSU defense that most inside linebackers can’t dream of, leaving him in the thick of nearly every stop the Tigers make. Chris Johnson And Eric Single, SI.com, "Top 100 College Football Players of 2018: Nos. 100–51," 18 June 2018 There’s a silver lining in the form of a squad of rising stars like Christian Pulisic and John Brooks, who are young enough to be dreaming of a resurgence in 2022. Siobhan Morrin, Time, "Your Ultimate Guide to Watching the 2018 World Cup," 13 June 2018 Nearly 150 years after Dmitri Mendeleev dreamed of this organizational structure, the seventh row of the table was officially complete. Edwin Cartlidge, Scientific American, "The Battle Behind the Periodic Table’s Latest Additions," 13 June 2018 According to Deadline, Julianne will star as Jolene, a small-town girl with a free spirit who dreams of escaping her simple life in Georgia to pursue a career in music. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Kimberly Williams-Paisley and Julianne Hough Will Star in Dolly Parton's Netflix Series," 31 Dec. 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

12 Apr 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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