onei·​ric | \ ō-ˈnī-rik How to pronounce oneiric (audio) \

Definition of oneiric

: of or relating to dreams : dreamy those oneiric images that have had so profound an effect on certain kinds of twentieth-century art— J. T. Soby

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from oneiric

oneirically \ ō-​ˈnī-​ri-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce oneirically (audio) \ adverb

Did You Know?

The notion of using the Greek noun oneiros (meaning "dream") to form the English adjective "oneiric" wasn't dreamed up until the mid-19th century. But back in the early 1600s, linguistic dreamers came up with a few "oneiros" spin-offs, giving English "oneirocriticism," "oneirocritical," and "oneirocritic" (each referring to dream interpreters or interpretation). The surge in "oneiros" derivatives at that time may have been fueled by the interest then among English-speaking scholars in Oneirocritica, a book about dream interpretation by 2nd-century Greek soothsayer Artemidorus Daldianus.

Examples of oneiric in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Somewhere along the twisty path of the twentieth century, Vladimir Nabokov, our brilliant dreamer-in-chief, came into contact with Dunne’s theories of oneiric prophecy and was evidently inspired by them. Nicholson Baker, New Republic, "The forgotten theory of dreams that inspired Vladimir Nabokov," 21 Feb. 2018 Through perspectival shifts, pronominal slippage and shout-outs to cinema, poetry and of course music, Mercier allows the duo’s fears and displaced ambitions to turn into one another in revelatory, oneiric and, ultimately, disturbing ways. Lisa Russ Spaar, New York Times, "A Trove of Continental Fiction Explores Loss," 5 Jan. 2018 Chairs, beds, and bell jars seem to float just in front of the frames, the ghostly 3-D effect rendering her oneiric assemblages more nightmarish than usual. The New Yorker, "Louise Bourgeois," 31 Mar. 2017 Elsewhere, there is a naïve, almost oneiric undertow. Dan Chiasson, The New Yorker, "Bill Knott’s Anti-Career of Guerrilla Poetry," 24 Mar. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oneiric.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of oneiric

1859, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oneiric

Greek oneiros dream; akin to Armenian anurǰ dream

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about oneiric

Time Traveler for oneiric

Time Traveler

The first known use of oneiric was in 1859

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about oneiric

Statistics for oneiric

Cite this Entry

“Oneiric.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for oneiric


onei·​ric | \ ō-ˈnī-rik How to pronounce oneiric (audio) \

Medical Definition of oneiric

1 : of or relating to dreams
2 : of, relating to, or characterized by oneirism

Comments on oneiric

What made you want to look up oneiric? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


heavy with or as if with moisture

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!