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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But for Ashley Trainer, her experience on Survivor: Samoa sometimes feels like a dream. Dalton Ross, EW.com, "Survivor Quarantine Questionnaire: Ashley Trainer still 'shocked' she was on Samoa," 20 Oct. 2020 The opening of a pop-up art gallery in Lincoln Park is a dream come true for local artist Kim Phillips-Pea. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Artist group celebrates Lincoln Park gallery opening with art walk through southeast San Diego," 20 Oct. 2020 Every moment of this game, at least when you're not frustrated by dying too many times, feels like a beguiling dream of an island getaway. Julie Muncy, Wired, "Judge Says No to Putting Fortnite Back on Apple's App Store," 15 Oct. 2020 For me, her way of life is like a dream and so inspiring. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "There’s a Shoe for Every City Girl in Sally Singer and Laurence Dacade’s Debut Collaboration," 7 Oct. 2020 Why should this seem more like a dream than something that Cal McNair could just do? Stephanie Stradley, Houston Chronicle, "Stephanie Stradley's case for a new and better Texans GM," 6 Oct. 2020 The first is a shadow palette with 12 neutral matte shades that are foolproof and blend like a dream. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Mario Dedivanovic's New Brand Ushers In the Next Era of Makeup," 1 Oct. 2020 According to its nearly 5,000 Amazon reviewers, this handheld machine cleans like a dream and works quickly, too. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "Bissell vacuums and cleaners are majorly discounted thanks to Amazon's Big Fall sale," 26 Sep. 2020 Even with coronavirus cases declining, indoor dining — an imminent necessity for many struggling Oregon restaurants once the weather turns — feels like a far-off dream. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "Portland’s 10 best new food carts of 2020," 11 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But this is the time to dream big and, from their insider perspectives, to come up with a plan and to acknowledge the truth about dance’s ecosystem. New York Times, "Could Dance Be a Weapon All Over Again?," 22 Oct. 2020 The Hummer electronics do things old-school 4X4s can only dream about. Ben Stewart, Popular Mechanics, "Everything You Need To Know About the All-New Hummer EV," 21 Oct. 2020 This year’s Vikings could only dream of blowing big leads. Michael Rand, Star Tribune, "Would a lopsided loss Sunday mean Vikings' worst three-game start ever?," 24 Sep. 2020 So their chance to reach that milestone seems like a big deal, setting up an intriguing home game Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts that could open the door for Chicago to dream bigger. Colleen Kane, chicagotribune.com, "5 things to watch when the Bears play the Colts, including Akiem Hicks against a tough offensive line and kicker Cairo Santos searching for consistency," 2 Oct. 2020 Wealthy Mexican nationals who lived through the 1982 banking crisis or the 1994 currency crisis wouldn’t dream of owning only Mexican assets denominated in pesos. Michael Taylor, ExpressNews.com, "Taylor: Avoiding foreign stocks is a bad idea," 30 Sep. 2020 Yet two uniquely patient, passionate owners dare to dream. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Bold Padres owners Peter Seidler, Ron Fowler savor playoff return," 29 Sep. 2020 With a gorgeous new stadium being built downtown, there is room to dream big. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Birmingham growing reputation in pro soccer," 25 Sep. 2020 This narrative may have even induced people to dream more about the pandemic. Tore Nielsen, Scientific American, "The COVID-19 Pandemic Is Changing Our Dreams," 16 Sep. 2020

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

Time Traveler for dream

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for dream

Last Updated

28 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dream

dream

noun
How to pronounce dream (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Test Your Vocabulary

Here Be Dragons: A Creature Identification Quiz

  • monster werewolf photo
  • Which is a synonym of werewolf?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!