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

Shortly thereafter, Stout founded the Apollo Prayer League with the explicit goal of fulfilling White’s dream of landing a Bible on the moon. Daniel Oberhaus, WIRED, "Spaceflight and Spirituality, a Complicated Relationship," 16 July 2019 While most of us dream of a slow morning with sunshine streaming through the windows and birds chirping outdoors, reality looks more like an obnoxious-sounding alarm clock blaring through the darkness. Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "You Can Snag This Best-Selling Sunrise Alarm Clock Our Readers Love for Just $89 Today," 15 July 2019 For the older Sabal, coming back will mean potentially moving the family to California, a dream of his. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Deported Marine Corps veteran hoping to find a way back to family," 14 July 2019 The group has coupled off to an extent—Mike with Eleven, Lucas with Max, Will with dying dreams of another round of D&D—and struggles to define a new normal. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Stranger Things 3, eps. 1-4: Hawkins, Indiana, will never be the same," 13 July 2019 Moving it would also be a realization of Ant Farm’s original dream of a nomadic architecture. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "The epic tale of the House of the Century, the trippy Texas icon that defies polite description," 12 July 2019 And while Indiana is pretty solidly landlocked, that doesn't mean one has to give up the dream of lakefront living. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "9 lakefront Hot Properties: Amazing views with interiors to match," 12 July 2019 This is why boys from small towns dream of coming to New York. John Leland, New York Times, "The Man With the $13 Billion Checkbook," 12 July 2019 While The Republic of Minerva sounded like a fool’s errand from the start, the dream of establishing micro-nations in the middle of the ocean still persists in the form of the Seasteading movement. Diana Budds, Curbed, "This failed utopia from the 1970s sparked an international dispute," 12 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

It’s early, but the Tigers can dream on him being a big steal. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers mid-season prospect rankings: Projecting their arrivals," 17 July 2019 Blessed with the kind of physicality and athleticism which most can only dream of, the 22-year-old knows exactly how to use that to his advantage. SI.com, "8 Premier League Defenders Who Are Better Than Harry Maguire," 15 July 2019 In just seven and a half months, Mexico’s leftist president has achieved the kind of cost-cutting revolution that conservatives in Washington can only dream of. Washington Post, "López Obrador’s cost-cutting spree is transforming Mexico — and drawing blowback from bureaucrats," 15 July 2019 But government funding for research is scarce; many Indonesian scientists can only dream of the budget SMARTRI has. Dyna Rochmyaningsih, Science | AAAS, "Courting controversy, scientists team with industry to tackle one of the world’s most destructive crops," 11 July 2019 And the new luxury apartments going up in Denver and other cities are loaded with high-end finishes, amenities and easy access to activities that most homeowners can only dream about. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "More than a third of Denver-metro area rents, yet a stigma still attached to not owning a home," 9 July 2019 Yet even in a financial structure that inherently favors owners, NBA players wield a level of influence their baseball counterparts can only dream about. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "How NBA Free Agency Dunked on Baseball," 9 July 2019 Any young person can rationally dream of being the next Sara Blakely or Sergey Brin. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "Toast America this July 4th, but run your 401(k) globally," 30 June 2019 Guests like Jayden Smith and Orlando Bloom perused the shop’s bookstore, laid out like a collaboration between LV and Wes Anderson (one can dream). Leigh Penney, Vogue, "Louis Vuitton X Celebrates 160 Years of Creative Collaboration," 29 June 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.

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

19 Jul 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 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

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

an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
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!