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 dream (audio) , ˈdrēmd How to pronounce dream (audio) \ or dreamt\ ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) \; dreaming\ ˈdrē-​miŋ How to pronounce dream (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 dream (audio) \ adjective
dreamfully \ ˈdrēm-​fə-​lē How to pronounce dream (audio) \ adverb
dreamfulness noun
dreamless adjective
dreamlessly adverb
dreamlessness noun
dreamlike \ ˈdrēm-​ˌlīk How to pronounce dream (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 With a hyperrealistic screen, a quick Intel Core i7 processor and 16 gigabytes of RAM to support smooth gameplay and multitaksing, this laptop is every avid gamer’s dream. Kara Cuzzone, Forbes, "The 8 Best Laptop Sales Right Now, From MacBooks To Gaming Computers," 11 May 2021 The owner, who chartered different yachts for 20 years, decided to finally buy his dream yacht for private use with family and friends. Michael Verdon, Robb Report, "The 217-Foot Megayacht May Be the First Vessel Designed and Built Over Zoom," 11 May 2021 At the end of this stage, the dream transitions into reality and the car gets built. Connor Hoffman, Car and Driver, "Porsche Classic Will Now Build Custom One-Off Dream Cars," 11 May 2021 Unlike most of its characters, Grey’s Anatomy isn’t going to turn up at a dream beach in our minds just yet. Devon Ivie, Vulture, "Death, Taxes, and Grey’s Anatomy Will Continue Into 2022," 10 May 2021 Turns out, another dream was waiting for the Lynnfield native north of the border. BostonGlobe.com, "Jake Burt’s football journey takes him from St. John’s Prep to Patriots to No. 1 pick in CFL draft," 10 May 2021 Entrants into that category will need to answer questions related to their dream event, with the top five most compelling stories being awarded the amount to be used within a year. Rachel Chang, Travel + Leisure, "Washington, D.C. Is Welcoming Back Travelers With Up to $25,000 in Prizes," 10 May 2021 Work is the essence of the American way – and dream. cleveland, "Race director ‘steps’ it up with a fundraiser: Olmsted Dates and Data," 10 May 2021 In recounting the dream to a friend, Milkman means to make a certain point—why garden, why do anything, if one pursues the hobby as mechanically as his mother does?—but his friend, upon hearing the story, is distracted by Milkman’s own complacency. Jessi Jezewska Stevens, The New Yorker, "Flowers Are the Ultimate Symbols," 8 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kountze told Ford to dream bigger and offered a sum of $9,000 (or $190,000 today), even though Ford had no collateral. Alex Knapp, Forbes, "Meet The Man Who Escaped Slavery And Made A Fortune In The Old West—Again And Again," 8 May 2021 As terrifying as having a body can be, Laing focuses on people who dared to dream of a more inclusive world, such as Nina Simone, who became a freedom fighter through her music. Washington Post, "Olivia Laing’s ‘Everybody’ explores the power and vulnerabilities of the human body," 7 May 2021 Amid our new reality in which the somewhat unpredictable threat of a virus may wane or rage with the seasons, at least one aspect of pre-pandemic Southern California was about to return: our desire to go to a place that encourages us to dream. Los Angeles Times, "Disneyland reopens and reemerges as a beacon of optimism," 2 May 2021 The way for their team to even dream about the Super Bowl was to draft high and draft often. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "NFL Draft was once the Super Bowl for Browns fans; Now it’s time to show off! – Terry Pluto," 27 Apr. 2021 Those items include a pair of boots from Hamilton signed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, tickets to The Lion King and Aladdin once the shows reopen on Broadway (dare to dream), and other costumes worn by Jackman. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "You can own Timothée Chalamet's Harry Styles costume from Saturday Night Live," 27 Apr. 2021 As travel begins opening back up, people are starting to dream a bit bigger and think beyond their own backyard. Madison Flager, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Most-Bookmarked Homes on Airbnb Right Now," 13 Apr. 2021 The sight of a mother competing at the Olympics would no doubt inspire numerous of other women around the world to dream to do the same. George Ramsay, CNN, "'I felt my body was still capable': Meet the moms hoping to shine at the Olympics," 7 Apr. 2021 The pairing of LaVine and Vucevic is more than enough to get Bulls fans to dream. Jamal Collier, chicagotribune.com, "Zach LaVine will play alongside an All-Star for the first time in his career — and he’s excited to see how the Chicago Bulls transform with Nikola Vucevic," 26 Mar. 2021

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

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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 dream (audio) , ˈdrēmd How to pronounce dream (audio) \ or dreamt\ ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) \; dreaming\ ˈdrē-​miŋ How to pronounce dream (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 dream (audio) \ noun

Comments on dream

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