dream

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdrēm How to pronounce dream (audio) \

Essential Meaning of dream

1 : a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep He had a dream about climbing a mountain. You were in my dream last night. See More ExamplesScary movies always give me bad dreams. [=nightmares] "Good night, my love. Sweet dreams." [=I hope you will sleep well and have pleasant dreams]Hide
2 : an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real She indulged in dreams [=fantasies] of living in a palace. I've found the man/woman of my dreams. See More ExamplesThey 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.Hide
3 : something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time He has had a lifelong dream of becoming an actor. It's a dream of mine to own a house in the country. See More ExamplesTell me your hopes and dreams. She followed/fulfilled her dreams. Making it to the Olympics was a dream come true. Many believe that worldwide peace is an impossible dream.Hide

Full 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 dream (audio) , ˈdrēmd How to pronounce dream (audio) \ or dreamt\ ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) \; dreaming\ ˈdrē-​miŋ How to pronounce dream (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 dream (audio) \ adjective
dreamfully \ ˈdrēm-​fə-​lē How to pronounce dream (audio) \ adverb
dreamfulness noun
dreamless adjective
dreamlessly adverb
dreamlessness noun
dreamlike \ ˈdrēm-​ˌlīk How to pronounce dream (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 Oklou’s lush and entrancing sound makes for an almost dream-like experience. Keegan Brady, Rolling Stone, 14 Oct. 2021 Drawing inspiration from a dream of his late mother Mary, McCartney would revisit the song in earnest in the new year as work began on the potential live album project. Jordan Runtagh, PEOPLE.com, 14 Oct. 2021 This dream has led me to leading a Fortune 500 company at 45-years-old. Nell Derick Debevoise, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Not so with Matsu, the long-gestating dream project of chef William Eick. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 14 Oct. 2021 Initially overjoyed, Lowe isn’t ready to immediately make a commitment, but the offer is a dream-come-true for him. oregonlive, 13 Oct. 2021 Villeneuve is equally eager to get back to work on the rest of Dune; after all, his dream project still isn't finished. Christian Holub, EW.com, 13 Oct. 2021 While the grocery store bags may not be a necessity for travelers, this new Balenciaga pillow is a jetsetter's dream. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 13 Oct. 2021 Within days of acquiring the dream house, Mr. Douthat awoke with a stiff neck. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, 13 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Why elites would even dream of interfering with middle-class self-sufficiency is beyond this discussion apart from the insistence that they be stopped. Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Dearborn Fordson’s Alex Osman had a game Friday night that only quarterbacks could dream about. Brad Emons, Detroit Free Press, 9 Oct. 2021 Keke took to Instagram once again to celebrate making her Insecure dream a reality through just a little social interaction and fan advocacy. Essence, 1 Oct. 2021 For Frey, the suburbs represent something bigger — something that many immigrants dream of when moving to the U.S. Vanessa Swales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 30 Sep. 2021 But Wamp and other good-government enthusiasts can still dream. Los Angeles Times, 12 Sep. 2021 Svenskt Tenn is very professional in making people dream away and long for a better life. Vogue, 7 Sep. 2021 Petrucci is the type of student-athlete that high school coaches dream about, too, and that college recruiters covet. Matt Le Cren, chicagotribune.com, 4 Sep. 2021 Newsom has gotten the kind of national Democratic star power most candidates dream about. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 3 Sep. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near dream

dreadnought

dream

dream away

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for dream

Last Updated

17 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for dream

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 dream (audio) , ˈdrēmd How to pronounce dream (audio) \ or dreamt\ ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) \; dreaming\ ˈdrē-​miŋ How to pronounce dream (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 dream (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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