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

Well, my most vivid dream is to have a piano duel with Duke Ellington. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "J. J. Sempé’s “Our Sunday-Morning Outings”," 17 Sep. 2019 Those ideas depend on an underlying point none of them came out and said directly: Government can help citizens live better lives and achieve their dreams. Jennifer Mercieca, The Conversation, "Why won’t Democrats say they want government to solve problems?," 13 Sep. 2019 Their jobs serve their careers, and their careers serve their dreams, and one of Friends’ most treasured convictions is that ambition deserves its own happy ending. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "On Chandler Bing’s Job," 12 Sep. 2019 Live out your karate dreams during a lesson with a martial arts master, or take part in a heart-pounding taiko drumming class. National Geographic, "Japan Middle School Expedition," 10 Sep. 2019 While being an astronaut like Kalpana Chawla is many young Indians’ dream, there are other ways to work with ISRO and help make scientific history. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Inspired by ISRO? Here’s how much money you can make in Indian space research," 10 Sep. 2019 But who can put a time limit on fulfilling your dreams? Megan Stein, Country Living, "This Is What It's Really Like to Audition for 'American Idol'," 8 Sep. 2019 Similarly, spaceflight alone cannot save Earth, but that does not mean it solely aids and abets naive dreams of leaving our planet behind. Robin George Andrews, Scientific American, "Can Spaceflight Save the Planet?," 6 Sep. 2019 This just in: your dreams of a better night’s sleep are about to come true. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Frette’s New Capsule Collection is the Touch of Luxury We’ve Been Craving," 4 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The son of Cuban immigrants, Officer Echeverria dreamed of carrying a gun and a badge while growing up in West Islip, on Long Island. Edgar Sandoval, New York Times, "She Begged Them to Take Away His Police Handgun. He Died Anyway.," 16 Sep. 2019 Artificial intelligence researchers have long dreamed of building a computer as knowledgeable and communicative as the one in Star Trek, which could interact with humans in natural (i.e., human) language. Wired, "AI Can Pass Standardized Tests—But It Would Fail Preschool," 10 Sep. 2019 There are 48 scholarship players on UC's roster from the state of Ohio, some of whom grew up dreaming about, rooting for and, yes, perhaps shunned by during recruiting, the Buckeyes. Fletcher Page, Cincinnati.com, "Trip to Ohio State could be UC football's last shot at in-state supremacy for a long time," 7 Sep. 2019 Some of us have dreamed of being a Disney prince or princess, while others have felt inspired by the incredible stories of the heroes and heroines that have taken up our screens over the years. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "40 Super Cute Disney Captions That Are Straight-Up Magical," 4 Sep. 2019 David Muir: As a kid, I had always dreamed of seeing the world beyond my backyard and my neighborhood. Susannah Hutcheson, USA TODAY, "How I became the anchor of ABC “World News Tonight”: David Muir," 3 Sep. 2019 Maybe that's why the first model for fame in the West is the one Alexander dreamed of emulating: Achilles. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, "The Elusive Price—and Prize—of Fame on the Internet," 20 Aug. 2019 The late Mexican-American singer and activist Jenni Rivera always dreamed of a biopic about her turbulent and inspirational life. Fox News, "Jenni Rivera biopic in the works with her family's support," 18 June 2019 No scientist would dream of saying no to a grant from HHMI. Wired, "How Rich Donors Like Epstein (and Others) Undermine Science," 15 Sep. 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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Statistics for dream

Last Updated

11 Oct 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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