dream

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdrēm \

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 , ˈdrēmd \ or dreamt\ ˈdrem(p)t \; dreaming\ ˈdrē-​miŋ \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dream

Noun

dreamful \ -​fəl \ adjective
dreamfully \ -​fə-​lē \ adverb
dreamfulness noun
dreamless adjective
dreamlessly adverb
dreamlessness noun
dreamlike \ ˈdrēm-​ˌlīk \ 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

The euro was both an economic and political failure, and diplomatic unity remains a distant dream. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Incredible Shrinking Europe," 11 Feb. 2019 In Petersen’s dream signing day, To’oto’o, Heimuli and Nacua — plus four-star safety Asa Turner, who reaffirmed his commitment to the Huskies last week — would add to an already impressive haul. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Can UW Huskies secure the best class of the Chris Petersen era (and beyond) on national signing day?," 6 Feb. 2019 The real-world realization of that sketchbook dream was realized by building upon the platform shared by the GMC Acadia and Cadillac XT5. Andrew Moseman, Popular Mechanics, "2019 Chevy Blazer Test Drive: What Happened When GM Tried To Make the Crossover Cool," 4 Feb. 2019 But Beth feels bad for trying to stop her husband's dream and gets back on board with the campaign. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "This Is Us Will Reveal 'All the Answers' Next Week, So Get Ready," 15 Jan. 2019 Which is way better than any final destination a dream could offer you. Maxie Mccoy, Good Housekeeping, "Feeling Lost? 4 Steps to Finding Purpose and Direction Right Now," 14 Jan. 2019 Who built our dream city with shiny, swooping public transportation, a walkable core, and skyscrapers made of brick, concrete and vibranium? Mark Lamster, Curbed, "2018 in architecture: The good, the bad, and the urbanism," 27 Dec. 2018 Life has given me the tenacity and concentration to turn these dreams into reality— and to add magic to these realities. Alejandro Jodorowsky, ELLE Decor, "A Conversation Between Hotelier Alan Faena and Filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky," 14 Nov. 2018 For me and my acne-prone skin, BB Glo sounded like the beauty innovation of my hyperpigmented dreams. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "What Is Semi-Permanent BB Cream, and Why Are People Getting It Microneedled Into Their Faces?," 9 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Prepare for your hearts to burst: Chip and Joanna Gaines just made one couple's adoption dreams come true. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "How Chip and Joanna Gaines Helped This Couple Adopt a Child With Down Syndrome," 23 Oct. 2018 Later, the couple headed to the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva to change for their evening engagement—a state dinner hosted by Fiji’s president—and the sight of Meghan’s gown will make all of your Disney princess dreams come true in an instant. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Decided Not To Wear a Tiara for Her First State Dinner," 23 Oct. 2018 The sale ends on Oct. 10, so there are only a few days left to make your dusty pink (or blue, or red...) dreams come true. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Sam's Club Is Selling An Exclusive Matte Pink KitchenAid Mixer—And At A Crazy-Low Price," 8 Oct. 2018 Ready to make your shipping container dreams come true? Megan Barber, Curbed, "Shipping container house in the desert asks $610K," 19 Sep. 2018 From Fendi to Burberry and now Louis Vuitton, the Kardashian and Jenner children have more high fashion in their closets than most people could dream of. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "This Video of Stormi Webster Tossing a $2,000 Louis Vuitton Bag Over Her Shoulder Is Um, Rich," 9 Jan. 2019 The shop is any vintage lovers dream, conveniently located next to Exo Roast, where the Chiltepin Cold Brew will propel you into the evening (the combination of chocolate and chiltepin pepper is pleasantly delicious). Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "How to Do Winter Glamping Right (Among Saguaros in Arizona)," 8 Jan. 2019 My father never dreamed back in the 1960s and ’70s that these cars would be worth a lot of money many years later. A.j. Baime, WSJ, "The Vintage Ferraris That Run in the Family," 31 Dec. 2018 The book drives home the simple lesson: kids should dream big, even if others' silly ideas stand in the way. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Without question, these are 2018’s best space books for kids," 29 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dream

Statistics for dream

Last Updated

15 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dream

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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 \

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

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 \ noun

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on dream

What made you want to look up dream? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

irregularly rounded

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!