pipe dream


: an illusory or fantastic plan, hope, or story

Examples of pipe dream in a Sentence

His plan for starting his own business was just a pipe dream. opening our own restaurant has long been a pipe dream
Recent Examples on the Web The race is on to see who can make the hyperloop train a reality Despite the challenges and risks, the hyperloop train is not a pipe dream. Kurt Knutsson, Cyberguy Report, Fox News, 15 Feb. 2024 The idea of another title run was not a pipe dream, however. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 14 Feb. 2024 As for the Super Bowl, please, that was a pipe dream. USA TODAY, 25 Jan. 2024 The fourth Expendables movie was looking like a pipe dream after 2014's The Expendables 3, when Stallone parted ways with the franchise over differing opinions on its creative direction. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 7 June 2023 The conventional wisdom is that hopeful buyers should save to put down 20% before shopping around, but doing that is a pipe dream for those who can’t even save to begin with. Bryan Mena, CNN, 3 Feb. 2024 The possibility of multiple sample-return sorties isn’t a pipe dream: China is planning one of its own—a mission called Tianwen-3 that is planned to launch in 2028 and would seek to deliver Mars rocks to Earth as early as mid-2031. Leonard David, Scientific American, 11 Jan. 2024 But here, those pipe dreams sit alongside a peculiarly endearing acceptance of the way things are, that extends even into the film’s subtle, simple style. Jessica Kiang, Variety, 6 Sep. 2023 Overcrowding With numbers being at pre-pandemic levels, the pipe dream of an empty aisle on the plane is far from a reality. Krista Simmons, Sunset Magazine, 16 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pipe dream.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


from the fantasies brought about by the smoking of opium

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of pipe dream was in 1890

Dictionary Entries Near pipe dream

Cite this Entry

“Pipe dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pipe%20dream. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

pipe dream

: an unreal and fantastic idea, wish, or story
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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