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

It’s ancestors, family, music, love, culture, traditions, dreams, and passion. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Disney and Pixar's Coco Will Come to Life on Stage in All-Star Concert with Original Cast," 10 Sep. 2019 Despite the right’s bogeyman version of events or progressives’ savior dreams, in no telling of her story is Ford some fearless feminist crusader. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "What Christine Blasey Ford Said," 10 Sep. 2019 Readers, any hopes and dreams for the next Apple Watch? Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "iPhone 11: Battery life, smaller phones, privacy notifications are what you're looking for," 7 Sep. 2019 Circus Abyssinia: Ethiopian Dreams Opens Sept. 17: Two little brothers dream of joining the circus; a wish made true by the Man in the Moon. Dominic P. Papatola, Twin Cities, "Fall Arts Guide: Theater has promising playwrights, classics of the American stage," 7 Sep. 2019 To the true believers, who can spin every new season into a cotton candy puff of hopes and dreams. Ann Killion, SFChronicle.com, "Who should get the blame if 49ers’ struggles continue in 2019?," 6 Sep. 2019 Unfortunately, that dream, for many reasons, took an unexpected turn. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, "Asbestos cleanup at former Lawrence County power plant to cost millions," 3 Sep. 2019 The resulting images are hallucinatory in their intensity, evoking a fever dream or a psychedelic trip—an effect created in part by the absence of shadows, a trick Cobb learned from 3D modeling. Wired, "These Hallucinatory Landscape Photographs Will Blow Your Mind," 1 Sep. 2019 These are some of the many regional kombuchas we dream of sneaking past TSA. Aliza Abarbanel, Bon Appétit, "Forget Keychains, Local Kombucha Is Our Must-Buy Travel Item," 28 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

More importantly, China’s technocrats can co-ordinate fiscal and monetary policies, a state of affairs that Western advocates of modern monetary theory can only dream of. Washington Post, "China Smiles and Waits as World Cuts Rates," 9 Sep. 2019 And that's where a flocked Christmas tree comes in to make some of your cold-weather holiday dreams come true. Country Living Staff, Country Living, "Here's How to Flock a Christmas Tree, if You've Always Dreamed of a White Christmas," 29 Aug. 2019 Many home cooks love the slow-and-soothing process of stirring up a creamy, cheese-flecked pot from scratch and wouldn't dream of tapping a few buttons on the microwave to yield a bowl of the goods. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Jacksonville Beach Restaurant Debuts Its Own Line of Microwavable Grits," 26 July 2019 Toy Story 4 Is Giving The Internet Feelings dream come true... Lydia Wang, refinery29.com, "Grown-ish Star Halle Bailey Cast As Ariel In The Little Mermaid," 4 July 2019 The nefarious sea witch Ursula agrees to make Ariel’s dreams come true in exchange for her beautiful voice. Lauren Huff, EW.com, "Melissa McCarthy in talks to play Ursula in live-action Little Mermaid," 28 June 2019 The Kurds have not stopped dreaming of independence. The Economist, "Two years after a disastrous referendum, Iraq’s Kurds are prospering," 15 June 2019 Women like her have survived under often traumatic conditions of Southern poverty and patriarchy so that girls like me could dream big. al, "Reckon Women Q&A: Virginia Newcomb," 28 Aug. 2019 Opportunity Network helps CEOs and decision-makers to meet their business dreamsLearn More -Covers all their business needs. Fortune, "Announcing a new collaboration to connect business leaders," 28 Aug. 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

13 Sep 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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