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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

That, at least, is the dream that keeps us buying crazy graphic cards (and rolling the Windows 10 upgrade dice) in the near term. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "How I went from testing a fancy new graphics card to shouting at Windows 10," 24 Nov. 2018 In short, the dream of just unplugging your laptop from a USB-C dongle, plugging in your iPad, and having all of your screens, hard drives, and accessories work may not be as simple as the ports contend. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Adding USB-C to the iPad isn’t enough to fix Apple’s messy port strategy," 31 Oct. 2018 Kevin’s acting career offers plenty of opportunities for media cameos—he was previously interviewed by Katie Couric, albeit in a dream. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "'This Is Us' Recap: Jack and an Adult Kate Appeared Together for the First Time and It Was Emotional," 10 Oct. 2018 In the dream, I was consumed with guilt, and pretty soon, that agonizing feeling spilled over into my waking hours too. Fox News, "Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand's full victim impact statement to the court about her experience," 26 Sep. 2018 But the dream of the ultimate smart house, where one command center controls the entire thing, is not out of reach, especially with some professional help. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Inside a prefab house tricked out with smart home tech," 20 Aug. 2018 This week, a career dream will come true when the 29-year-old Brookline native headlines in his hometown for the first time, with a three-night stand at Laugh Boston. Nick A. Zaino Iii, BostonGlobe.com, "Comic Alex Edelman took the long way back to Boston," 12 July 2018 In Saturday’s championship game at Pomerado Elementary School, undefeated Rancho Santa Fe edged out 4S Ranch 6-5 to end its title dreams. Terry Monahan, Pomerado News, "Poway comes close to Little League district title," 12 July 2018 According to McCartney, the song came to him in a dream. John Harrington And Charles Stockdale, USA TODAY, "50 fascinating facts you may not know about The Beatles," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

This week Sega nailed down a release date for our doctor dreams: August 30. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: Star Citizen is sued by a backer, The Culling 2 is yanked from Steam and more," 20 July 2018 This one is in Tennessee, and the city manager here — Bill Sorah — has the job Eads might dream about. Washington Post, "2 cities share name, but 1 is in big trouble," 6 July 2018 Fantasy owners with the foresight to draft Mahomes before the season are likely already dreaming about championships. Michael Salfino, WSJ, "Pat Mahomes, Todd Gurley Are Awesome in Real Life—and Fantasy," 12 Nov. 2018 If a certain red elf is already giving you stress dreams about coming up with 25 creative ideas, a new Christmas tradition is here to give busy parents a break. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "This New "Reindeer in Here" Toy Is the More Positive Version of Your Christmas Elf," 23 Oct. 2018 His mother, who’d grown up in a house without plumbing, could only dream of rolling up to sold-out shows in a limousine, dripping in diamonds. Jeff Maysh, Smithsonian, "The Counterfeit Queen of Soul," 28 June 2018 Buy Photo Paula Hian has always dreamed in geometric shapes. Elizabeth Wellington, Philly.com, "Welcome to Paula Hian's King of Prussia pop-up | Elizabeth Wellington," 12 July 2018 And people are definitely dreaming about the internet, at least according to anecdotal reports. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Do You Dream in Internet? Don’t Freak Out," 23 June 2018 For the singer who once dreamed of traveling in limousines, her wildest fantasies had come true. Jeff Maysh, Smithsonian, "The Counterfeit Queen of Soul," 28 June 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

Middle English dreem, from Old English drēam noise, joy, and Old Norse draumr dream; akin to Old High German troum dream

Verb

see dream entry 1

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Statistics for dream

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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 \

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

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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

Comments on dream

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