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

The fairy garden has been a dream for Marshall and fellow librarian Jo-Anne Keller. Jenny Whidden, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Librarians bring imaginations to life with a fairy garden at the Wauwatosa Public Library," 1 July 2019 With its spires and cobblestoned streets, Prague is a dream for kids who love fairy tales. Amy Tara Koch, Washington Post, "Finding European hotel rooms for families can be tough. Here are suggestions in eight cities.," 28 June 2019 For a journalist eager to see up close how weather satellites work, and looking for a straightforward account of their operations, EUMETSAT is a dream. Andrew Blum, WIRED, "Inside the Room Where They Control the Weather Satellites," 25 June 2019 Yes, logistically, the move to a conference with a soon-to-be-11 team membership that makes geographic sense is a dream for Auriemma, who will be at his favorite restaurants by 10 p.m. after some road games. Mike Anthony, courant.com, "Mike Anthony: UConn women’s basketball better off in the Big East, even if the program never struggled in six years without it," 25 June 2019 Krantz spun ornate, breathless tales with only-in-your-dreams endings. The Washington Post, nola.com, "Judith Krantz, best-selling racy romance novelist, dies at 91," 23 June 2019 Being there at Indiana University to play was a dream for an Indianapolis boy. Indianapolis Star, "IU's Robert Vaden back in Indiana, chasing greatness," 21 June 2019 Brady and his mother Tricia took a leap of faith by leaving their North Carolina home when Brady was young to pursue his dream of dance, embarking on a long and tough journey that eventually lead them to Dance Moms. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Brady Farrar May Be the New Maddie Ziegler On ‘Dance Moms’," 20 June 2019 Living by the beach is a dream shared by most Americans. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "America's Best Beach Towns to Call Home," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Gone are her childhood hopes of a happy life, a loving husband, a family -- dreams that were first stolen from her by ISIS, then by those exploiting her vulnerability, and finally by her own government which failed to protect her. Arwa Damon, CNN, "They escaped ISIS. Then they got sucked into Baghdad's sex trafficking underworld," 3 July 2019 Suns fans need to keep those comments in mind when dreaming about Russell, Oubre — or both — wearing Phoenix jerseys this season. Duane Rankin, azcentral, "How the Phoenix Suns could land D'Angelo Russell — and Kelly Oubre Jr.," 29 June 2019 Nearly a quarter of us report lucid dreaming once a month or more. Achilleas Pavlou, Quartz, "A lucid dream researcher’s tips for controlling your dreams," 29 June 2019 During REM sleep, when a person is dreaming, most of the muscles in the body are paralyzed so dreams aren't acted out physically. NBC News, "Can science explain what people see and feel during a near-death experience?," 29 June 2019 The planning began after Veltman built the family’s dream home, complete with a pool. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "A Delightfully Unique Poolhouse Designed for Hot Summers," 28 June 2019 One open question is whether a role for replay exists during dreaming as well: the twisting of recent events into those phantasmagoric nocturnal narratives may serve to process and store—or toss out—our recent experiences. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, "Our Brain Uses a Not-So-Instant Replay to Make Decisions," 27 June 2019 And while dreaming about Shamila thriving in the aftermath of the breakup is one thing, some fans got much more aggressive following the news. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Camila Cabello Asks Fans to Stop Adding "More Pain to Pain" Following Her Reported Breakup with Matthew Hussey," 27 June 2019 Born on February 29, 1920, in Columbia, South Carolina, Friend had dreamed of being a pilot since childhood. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Robert Friend, Tuskegee Airman Who Flew in 142 Combat Missions, Dies at 99," 26 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.

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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

5 Jul 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

Comments on dream

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