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 Back in 1991, Ernie was a 6-1, 237-pound junior with pro football dreams. Jon Blau, The Indianapolis Star, "Ernie Thompson keeps promise to Bill Mallory, gets diploma from IU at age 50," 17 May 2020 Gonzalez would irrigate fields for farmers (earning $5 a day and getting paid in silver dollars, paper money being viewed with suspicion) and dream about the storied fishing of the Montana that was beyond his reach. John B. Snow, Outdoor Life, "The Godfather of Montana’s Bighorn River," 28 Apr. 2020 In the titular dream, a littering kid gets transported in his bed to a series of scenes from the future à la A Christmas Carol. The Editors, Outside Online, "Our 12 Favorite Earth Day Reads," 22 Apr. 2020 In an all-black studio on a quiet hill in Seoul, South Korea, the glittery, technicolor nails of your dreams are being created. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Inside the Studio (and Mind) of Unistella’s Park Eunkyung," 14 Apr. 2020 King and his young wife chased his dream of becoming a police officer from Big Hill to Houston, Hearne to Arlington. Dallas Morning News, "Texas law enforcement uses hypnosis to investigate crimes. Does it uncover the truth?," 8 Apr. 2020 The High Note Release date: May 8 Starring: Tracee Ellis Ross, Dakota Johnson, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Zoë Chao, Ice Cube, June Diane Raphael Trace Ellis Ross as a glamorous, aging pop star; Dakota Johnson as a personal assistant with big dreams. Andrea Park, Marie Claire, "8 Best Romantic Comedies of 2020," 6 Apr. 2020 Their dream buried in the salvo of stay at home orders, their post-season hopes crushed in a single UIL ruling ending their season. David Taylor, Houston Chronicle, "Dayton overcomes last season’s adversity to become district champs in shortened season," 4 May 2020 At the heart of every small enterprise is a dream, and Ilya Smirnov's is crazier than most. Robyn Dixon, Washington Post, "Russia has a huge fund for times of crisis. But Putin is hesitating on a sweeping rescue plan.," 3 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the restaurant industry for 30 years, Willis long dreamed of opening her own place in Lake Highlands, her family’s home for two decades. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "How a Dallas bistro owner convinced me that -- just maybe -- it’s time to eat out again," 20 May 2020 Who hasn’t at some point day-dreamed about running away from it all and embarking on a wild love affair? Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, "Why HBO's Run is the thirstiest show on TV right now," 17 May 2020 The blogger behind Dashing Darlin’ had dreamed of refreshing her bathroom with a simple, clean look for the past eight years. Eden Lichterman, Southern Living, "How One Southern Influencer Completely Redesigned Her Bathroom on a Budget," 12 May 2020 Researchers have long dreamed of preventing HIV infection by blocking the envelope protein's maneuvers. Scientific American, "20 Years in the Making: A New Approach to a Vaccine against HIV," 12 May 2020 For years, my husband and I have dreamed of selling our small house in the Bay Area and moving someplace more rural, more affordable. Katy Steinmetz, Time, "We Were Planning to Sell Our Home Before the Pandemic Hit. Now, the Real Estate Market May Never Be the Same," 12 May 2020 Larry English had long dreamed of owning a waterfront home. NBC News, "Owner of empty house Ahmaud Arbery allegedly entered before shooting might not move in because of threats," 12 May 2020 Major Wooten of Cullman, AL is in hospice, has dreamed of meeting the coach for years. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "Watch Nick Saban chat with 103-year old World War II veteran," 7 May 2020 Change of plans Fay had dreamed of playing at Aledo, andquarterbacking was in his blood. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Hampton Fay is Michigan State football’s newest QB recruit. Here’s what to know about him," 6 May 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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 29 May. 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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