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 While being one of these anonymous inspectors may sound like a dream job, Forbes Travel Guide inspectors on average travel 260 days per year, can't have any social media presence and fill out inspection reports that take 12 to 13 hours. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "Exclusive: Forbes Travel Guide unveils 70 new five-star hotels after global expansion," 12 Feb. 2020 But Congress’s reticence to humor his space dreams—and the 2020 election throwing NASA’s future in the air—may make Artemis fire a blank rather than a moonshot. Morgan Enos, Fortune, "Trump is proposing nearly $3 billion in additional funds for a 2024 moon landing. Will it be enough?," 11 Feb. 2020 As parents pursuing their dream with minimal margin for error, actors Steven Yeun and Han Ye-ri create nuanced, unforgettable characters, representing an America rarely seen on the big screen. TheWeek, "reckons with the streaming revolution," 7 Feb. 2020 While the bursts of guitars and thumping synths are enough to keep my pulse going, the song's message of pushing through roadblocks and ‘running’ with your dreams always encourages me to finish my route. Christa Sgobba, SELF, "50 Best Workout Songs We Have on Repeat," 6 Feb. 2020 In the final seconds, Thackeray, who's just landed his dream engineering job, winds up ripping up the letter with the offer in order to devote his life to the kids. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Pelosi tearing Trump's State of the Union speech is top paper-ripping moment ever," 5 Feb. 2020 The story, which partly came to Sciamma in dreams, was inspired in part by real women artists of the era who are often assumed non-existent, much like the idea that a lesbian relationship could not be possible in such times. Trish Bendix, WSJ, "Céline Sciamma Subverts the Classical Period Piece in ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’," 29 Jan. 2020 On the Record revolves around Drew Dixon, the daughter of two Washington, D.C., politicians who took her dream job in the A&R department at Def Jam Recordings following graduation from Stanford University in the early 1990s. Mara Reinstein, Billboard, "No Oprah? No problem: 'On the Record' Doc Gets Standing Ovations at Sundance," 26 Jan. 2020 A year ago, Mary Lou Muncy landed her dream job advising home health care agencies on wound care. Alfred Miller, The Courier-Journal, "KentuckyWired promised broadband and high-tech jobs. Will it ever deliver?," 15 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mike Bloomberg is the primary opponent of Bernie Sanders’s dreams. Jim Geraghty, National Review, "Bernie’s Dream Rival," 11 Feb. 2020 The earliest of the works date from the early sixties, when Saul, who’s from San Francisco, was a bohemian-dreaming expatriate in Paris: blowsy pastiches of Abstract Expressionist brushwork and proto-Pop imagery. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The In-Your-Face Paintings of Peter Saul," 10 Feb. 2020 London dreams In February 2018, Ola made its international debut in Perth, Australia. Ananya Bhattacharya, Quartz India, "Ola hopes to unseat Uber in London with launch offers for drivers and riders," 10 Feb. 2020 The likes of ex-Manchester United players Ashley Young and Lukaku lined up alongside former Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen for Sunday's match, which got Inter fans dreaming of domestic success. Ben Church, CNN, "'There's a new king in town' as Romelu Lukaku trumps Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Milan derby," 10 Feb. 2020 Among the most poignant stories of loss after the helicopter crash that claimed nine lives Jan. 26 in California was how Kobe Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gigi, killed along with her father, dreamed of playing for UConn. Tara Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "After Mookie Betts’s departure, our attention turns to Tom Brady," 8 Feb. 2020 The last two years were the wettest in nearly a century for the Great Lakes, virtually ensuring another season of unusually high water levels that could turn dream homes into nightmares. Dean Reynolds, CBS News, "Great Lakes erosion destroying beachfront homes," 6 Feb. 2020 The Romanovs has ruled Russia with a bloody iron first for more than 300 years, while living in opulence the peasants of the land could hardly dream of. Laura Demarco, cleveland, "‘Anastasia’ the Broadway musical soars at Playhouse Square in romantic, sumptuous production (review)," 6 Feb. 2020 And too often the political media juggernaut, which only champions winners, fails to appreciate the perseverance of serious candidates who keep hoping and dreaming though the road seems ahead seems steep. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Amy Klobuchar Is in for the Long Haul," 3 Feb. 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.

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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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Statistics for dream

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dreaming?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=d&file=dream008. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dream

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dream

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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