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

Good's brows are the stuff of bold, beautifully arched dreams. Marci Robin, Allure, "Meagan Good Says Her Bold Brows Are the Result of an Eyebrow Transplant," 2 May 2019 Only this time the dream had gone further than before. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "'Game of Thrones' Fan Theory Suggests Dead Starks Will Fight Against the Night King in Battle of Winterfell," 27 Apr. 2019 This is a person susceptible to fantasy who later in his song has a beautiful and tender dream. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Why Patrick Vaill is the Most Heartbreaking Jud Fry Ever Cast in Oklahoma!," 26 Apr. 2019 Or at least that’s how the dream was supposed to end, dammit! Joanna Stern, WSJ, "Apple Didn’t Solve Our Horrible Gadget-Charging Mess and Nobody Else Has, Either," 4 Apr. 2019 At one point, Selena may have lived out every girl’s dream and dated a One Direction member. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About Selena Gomez's Love Life," 4 Apr. 2019 Snap also couldn’t let the Spectacles dream die, and launched version two, as well as a couple fashionable sunglass options that are sold in department stores like Neiman Marcus to cater to a higher-end customer. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Snap," 27 Dec. 2018 The dream was an elevated rail system to bypass what has been some of the country’s worst traffic, whisking commuters from the farmland and swelling suburbs of West Oahu into the heart of Honolulu. Paul Overberg, WSJ, "How a Train Through Paradise Turned Into a $9 Billion Debacle," 22 Mar. 2019 View this post on Instagram Happy birthday (again) to my mom whose dream was to see Angkor Wat. Colleen Leahey Mckeegan, Marie Claire, "Valerie Jarrett on First Meeting the Obamas, Voter Suppression, and Beto O’Rourke," 18 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Grey Worm and Missandei are dreaming of seeing the beaches again in the future, which seems like a bad sign. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "This Game of Thrones Theory Says Podrick's Song Predicts Arya's Death," 23 Apr. 2019 Ever dream about rocking a high ponytail as thick and long as Ariana Grande’s? Jaime Osnato, SELF, "10 Styling Hacks to Create Thicker-Looking Hair," 5 Jan. 2019 As a young girl growing up in Smolensk, a Russian city located about 220 miles west of Moscow, Mensah dreamed of becoming a doctor. refinery29.com, "The Pipeline: The Sephora Innovation Manager Pushing The Beauty Giant's Tech Forward," 29 June 2018 While some are more affected by their dreams than others, everybody dreams. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Is Lucid Dreaming? Your Guide to Exploring Your Subconscious," 18 Sep. 2018 But for now, this is the race of Charlie Baker’s dreams. Adrian Walker, BostonGlobe.com, "The Democrats running for governor must be wondering when the cavalry arrives," 11 July 2018 A decade before William Van Alen ever dreamed about a skyscraper on 42nd St., all that stood at the current site of the Chrysler Building was a five-story structure with a cigar store at ground level. Jonathan Schifman, Popular Mechanics, "A Friendship Turned to Rivalry. A Feud That Changed the New York Skyline.," 27 Mar. 2019 Get away from the bustle of City Centre at the Aberdeen lodge, a Bed & Breakfast right out of your Leap Year dreams. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "The 10 Best Vacations You Can Take With Your Tax Refund," 18 Mar. 2019 The group nurtured dreams of politicians who cared and dreamed of kicking the BIE out of the canyon. Alden Woods, azcentral, "In the Grand Canyon, Havasupai parents want to regain control over failing school," 10 July 2018

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

10 May 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

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