pipe dream


Definition of pipe dream

: an illusory or fantastic plan, hope, or story

Keep scrolling for more

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 Military autonomy is a long way off, probably a pipe dream. New York Times, "Brexit’s Silver Lining for Europe," 31 Dec. 2020 For now, Herman’s Big 12 postseason goals may seem like just a pipe dream. Dallas News, "Tom Herman sings praises of QB Sam Ehlinger, 2017 recruiting class heading into Texas’ senior day," 23 Nov. 2020 Rivera's lunge toward a pipe dream of winning the NFC East could prove costly — to Haskins’ development and to Washington’s need to build for the long-term. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: In pursuit of 'short-term glory,' Ron Rivera falls into familiar trap for Washington by benching Dwayne Haskins," 8 Oct. 2020 The first disappointing sign that may be a pipe dream? Washington Post, "Call of Duty’s merged world has everything a player could want. Except logic.," 18 Dec. 2020 The Urban Meyer-to-Texas pipe dream is no more, according to multiple reports. Nick Moyle, ExpressNews.com, "Report: Urban Meyer not coming out of retirement to coach Texas," 7 Dec. 2020 Free agent Trevor Bauer will demand a Brink’s truck or three, the ultimate pipe dream, even if the Padres sign off on another capital call among investors. Bryce Miller Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Padres must chase down pitching, again," 3 Dec. 2020 Solar power, which not so long ago was so expensive that it was treated as a mere environmentalist pipe dream, has come down in price by a factor of 300 since the late 1970s. Noah Smith Bloomberg Opinion (tns), Star Tribune, "America is still capable of greatness," 22 Nov. 2020 The temptation of court-packing, long a liberal pipe dream, gained new popularity after President Trump nominated Barrett. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "What a post-Roe America would look like," 29 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pipe dream.' 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 pipe dream

1890, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pipe dream

from the fantasies brought about by the smoking of opium

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pipe dream

Time Traveler for pipe dream

Time Traveler

The first known use of pipe dream was in 1890

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pipe dream

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pipe dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pipe%20dream. Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pipe dream

pipe dream


English Language Learners Definition of pipe dream

: a hope, wish, or dream that is impossible to achieve or not practical

More from Merriam-Webster on pipe dream

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pipe dream

Comments on pipe dream

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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