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 And besides that, this man who was described by superiors before this case as an excellent firefighter has had his dream snatched away from him. BostonGlobe.com, "Firefighter Gerald Alston wins his fight against Brookline — again," 27 Apr. 2021 Kevin Colbert for drafting me in 2011 and giving me the opportunity to live my dream and play for the Pittsburgh Steelers for eight years, cheered on by the support of the best fans in the National Football League. Bob Mcmanaman, The Arizona Republic, "Cardinals right tackle Marcus Gilbert announces his retirement following 10 NFL seasons," 26 Apr. 2021 For help in finding your dream home, visit alliebeth.com. Dallas News, "Dallas’ hike-and-bike trails make good neighbors," 25 Apr. 2021 As of Wednesday, his dream is officially coming true — at least for a few days — thanks in part to a fierce push from fans to get him a spot as one of the celebrity guests who have lead the show since its revered host, Alex Trebek, died in November. Washington Post, "LeVar Burton wanted to host ‘Jeopardy!’ for years. Thanks to an online movement, he’s getting his chance.," 22 Apr. 2021 His dream was scuppered by World War II, but it has been given new life in the 21st century. New York Times, "Fabrics From Your Fridge," 22 Apr. 2021 Did that dream come true for the seven non-champions vying for the top prize? Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, "The Challenge: Double Agents finale recap: A big decision results in a new champion," 22 Apr. 2021 And so that was really the moment that sparked my dream to become a humanitarian. Neha Prakash, Marie Claire, "Anne Hathaway and Elizabeth Nyamayaro on Building Compassion and Gender Equity," 20 Apr. 2021 And when there are fans, having the crowd cheer for you, is just a dream come true. Tony Baranek, chicagotribune.com, "Column: A great career at Richards. A scary ride on an ATV. But now, Sarah Murczek is in the driver’s seat as a sophomore at Loyola.," 8 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In the 21 years following, Pletcher has maintained a level of success many would dream of. Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "This trainer is expected to start his 59th horse in the Kentucky Derby since 2000," 26 Apr. 2021 Opponents of the project argued that a closed-shop setup—similar to U.S. sports leagues—shattered the sport’s competitive framework in which any club could theoretically dream of winning the shiniest prizes. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Soccer Super League Begins to Fray as Chelsea and Manchester City Initiate Withdrawal," 20 Apr. 2021 To many, this is a slippery slope likely leading to the same push for the Premier League, meaning the rich stay fat and comfy, and the poorer clubs can only watch and dream like kids with noses pressed up against a store window. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Column: British soccer fans going ballistic over the Super League rebels isn’t just about an attempt to upend tradition — it is about undermining culture at large," 20 Apr. 2021 London, like the rest of England, was still under strict lockdown, with restaurants and all but essential shops closed: a good time to look up and dream. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "A New Sky Garden for London," 19 Apr. 2021 Now, the European Union is helping thousands of lucky 18-year-olds make that dream a reality by giving away free, unlimited Interrail passes. Jessica Poitevien, Travel + Leisure, "The European Union Is Giving Away Free, Unlimited Rail Passes to Thousands of Young People," 26 Feb. 2021 In an interview with Corriere della Sera newspaper, Carbonara said Biot wouldn't dream of cutting back on his children's sports activities but couldn't make ends meet. Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "In Italy spy story, Navy captain struggled with mortgage," 1 Apr. 2021 The sellers have the kind of leverage most negotiators can only dream of. Jack Nasher, Forbes, "The International Race for Vaccines - A Negotiator’s Notebook," 1 Mar. 2021 Not that Lewis would dream of letting a low snap count bother him. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, "Colts: Get ready to see more Tyquan Lewis after bye week," 21 Oct. 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

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 13 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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