pipe dream


Definition of pipe dream

: an illusory or fantastic plan, hope, or story

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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 world of real-time payments is no longer a pipe dream of the near-future. Rey Mashayekhi, Fortune, "How The Real Time Payments Revolution is Pushing Mastercard Beyond Cards," 31 Aug. 2019 If retirement is a pipe dream anyway, why go through the stress of a conventional 9-5? Bruce Helmer And Peg Webb, Twin Cities, "Your Money: Retiring Gen X: Overcoming cynicism," 24 Aug. 2019 Apart from another attempt in 1979, an amendment has been, and continues to be, a pipe dream. Adam Eichen, The New Republic, "The Case Against the Electoral College Is Stronger Than Ever," 2 Aug. 2019 Our fantasies of a working shrink ray are merely a pipe dream? Eric Spitznagel, Popular Mechanics, "Why Can’t We Shrink Our Kids Yet?," 21 June 2019 Those apartments are pipe dreams; London landlords don’t rent to refugees. Dina Nayeri, Longreads, "When Your Social Worker Thinks You’re Ungrateful," 29 Aug. 2019 Sequencing the entire range of Earth’s biodiversity is not a pipe dream anymore. Eugene Koonin, Quartz, "What will we do once we’ve sequenced all the genomes?," 9 Aug. 2019 Even given their recent surge, winning the AL West is likely a pipe dream. Michael Shapiro, SI.com, "Ranking the Top Trade Destinations for Madison Bumgarner," 23 July 2019 For all the heated discussion about internationalizing China’s currency, a real role for the yuan in global finance remains a pipe dream. Mike Bird, WSJ, "Trump’s Most Powerful Weapon in the U.S.-China Trade Fight," 27 June 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for pipe dream

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for pipe dream

The first known use of pipe dream was in 1890

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pipe dream

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pipe dream

Spanish Central: Translation of 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).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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