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 Meanwhile, Eisenhower circa 1967 (George Gerdes) and the president (Leith Burke) meet in a dream state to grapple with decades-old issues over nonterrestrial technology acquired after World War II. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Christopher Munch’s ‘The 11th Green’ gets lost in the rough," 25 June 2020 Get ready to spoon and snuggle with your spouse, partner or loved one all night long — a new study has found couples who sleep together in the same bed improve their dream stage of rest, known as rapid eye movement sleep. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Get better sleep by cuddling up with your partner," 25 June 2020 Outside of country music, who’s your dream duet partner? Joey Guerra, ExpressNews.com, "Randy Rogers, Wade Bowen still drinkin’ buddies with latest ‘Hold My Beer’ release," 25 June 2020 The Green Event Center opened in 2010 when Mickler’s idea and dream meshed with her husband Jeff’s profession. Ted Dunnam Staff Writer, Houston Chronicle, "Popular event center in Friendswood closes after 10 years," 25 June 2020 That extra conditioning could mean the difference between a dream and a nightmare down the road. Shelby Dermer, The Enquirer, "Mike Welker and Moeller soccer keeping high expectations with new wave of leaders," 25 June 2020 In Book II of the Iliad, the god sends Agamemnon, king of the Achaeans, a dream urging him to dispatch his men into battle, promising that this will end Troy’s siege. Aziz Huq, Washington Post, "Political lies aren’t new, but the methods of spreading them are," 25 June 2020 Webb's sprawling Appalachia dream has been featured on CBS' 60 Minutes and in major newspapers across the country. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Appalachian firm teams with Dutch government to grow 'ag-tech' epicenter in Kentucky," 24 June 2020 Eurovision is a costume designer’s psychedelic dream. Ruth Kinane, EW.com, "How Eurovision Song Contest director recreated the annual extravaganza for Netflix movie," 24 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb For people who dream of having a beach house, an Oregon Coast vacation rental is a sweet substitute. oregonlive, "Zen-like getaways: Oregon offers calm vacation destinations (and ideas for your home)," 26 June 2020 In one of those coincidences that publishers dream about, a book called Healthy Buildings appeared in April. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, "Coming out of a crisis, the boldest companies win," 25 June 2020 Coming into college, a lot of kids dream to win a national championship, get to the Final Four, player of the year, all decade team, things like that. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan's Trey Burke, MSU's Draymond Green, Denzel Valentine: BTN All-Decade first team," 24 June 2020 Mr Bezos has managed to keep Amazon from ageing beyond Day 1 for longer than most companies can dream of. The Economist, "And on the second day... Can Amazon keep growing like a youthful startup?," 18 June 2020 Even with the neck injury, Vander Esch still did some things on tape that only a handful of LBs in the entire NFL can dream of doing, such as running with one of the NFL’s preeminent deep threats, Robby Anderson, to take a deep crosser (above clip). John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 Cowboys who will soar in 2020, including how Xavier Woods can evolve into a Pro Bowl-caliber safety," 15 June 2020 We are told to dream big while navigating the corporate ladders of executive whiteness and power. Lazarus Lynch, Washington Post, "This Juneteenth, I don’t feel like celebrating. Instead, I’m cooking barbecue in memory of Black lives lost.," 16 June 2020 Today begins with the need to dream and plan privately -- others might not understand. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 15 June 2020 Even though travel across the world has been greatly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, jet-setters continue to dream of beautiful, far-off places for their next adventure. Molly O'brien, Travel + Leisure, "Visit One of These 8 Western U.S. Destinations for a Taste of Traveling Abroad," 13 June 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

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 9 Jul. 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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