\ ˈstrēm How to pronounce stream (audio) \

Definition of stream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a body of running water (such as a river or creek) flowing on the earth also : any body of flowing fluid (such as water or gas)
2a : a steady succession (as of words or events) kept up an endless stream of chatter
b : a constantly renewed or steady supply a stream of revenue
c : a continuous moving procession a stream of traffic
d : digital data (such as audio or video material) that is continuously delivered one packet at a time and is usually intended for immediate processing or playback Having proved their popularity with American couch potatoes, digital video recorders (DVRs) are about to get a boost in features that will allow them to zap several video streams throughout networked homes.— Ed Frauenheim
3 : an unbroken flow (as of gas or particles of matter)
4 : a ray of light
5a : a prevailing attitude or group has always run against the stream of current fashion
b : a dominant influence or line of development the influence of two streams of inheritance: genetic and cultural— P. B. Baltes
6 British : track sense 5c


streamed; streaming; streams

Definition of stream (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to flow in or as if in a stream
b : to leave a bright trail a meteor streamed through the sky
2a : to exude a bodily fluid profusely her eyes were streaming
b : to become wet with a discharge of bodily fluid streaming with perspiration
3 : to trail out at full length her hair streaming back as she ran
4 : to pour in large numbers complaints came streaming in

transitive verb

1 : to emit freely or in a stream his eyes streamed tears
2 : to display (something, such as a flag) by waving
3 : to transfer (digital data, such as audio or video material) in a continuous stream especially for immediate processing or playback: such as
a : to watch a video on a streaming service … passed the time watching the same shows as he would have streamed at home.— Greg Egan
b : to broadcast a video for others to watch on a stream I went live, but there was no one in my room. Just me. Streaming myself live. Shirtless. To no one.— Will Dennis

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Synonyms for stream

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of stream in a Sentence

Noun A stream flows through the field. Verb Tears streamed down his cheeks. I could feel the cold air streaming in through the crack in the window. Sunlight was streaming in through the window. rays of light streaming through the clouds His face streamed with sweat. People streamed into the hall. Immigrants streamed into the country. Hundreds of letters streamed in from listeners.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The mass production of pork results in an ungodly amount of feces and methane emissions; the companies want to channel the methane into another income stream. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "Burning Pig Poop Fumes Doesn’t Solve Anything," 12 Apr. 2021 One of my favorite distinctions is when Steve described the difference between calling a particular stream a creek or a crick. Anchorage Daily News, "Expanding your lexicon for names in nature," 11 Apr. 2021 Rich yellow; beautiful persistent stream of bubbles. Tom Hyland, Forbes, "New Releases From Champagne," 11 Apr. 2021 Live stream video posted to Facebook depicted a tense scene featuring dozens of residents and law enforcement personnel outside the apartment complex. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Tense standoff in Park Hill ends with arrest of homicide suspect, Louisville police say," 10 Apr. 2021 InCrowd also has multi-streaming capabilities and can live stream to millions on multiple platforms at once. Mike Snider, USA Today, "What will entertainment look like after COVID? Hybrid events for live and streaming crowds, plus more Zoom," 10 Apr. 2021 Sitting on top of a bucket, these misting fans will use water from inside the bucket to create a refreshing stream of mist. Zachary Visconti,, "Which misting fan is best for patios?," 10 Apr. 2021 What began as a watertight door preventing the company from going under has grown into a substantial revenue stream; sales last December were $647,755. Adam Erace, Fortune, "How Luke’s Lobster gets seafood from the docks to your doorstep," 10 Apr. 2021 Beavers are considered a keystone species that helps the overall health of stream ecosystems, so the reintroduction plan was carried out by the federal Bureau of Land Management with the involvement of Arizona’s Game and Fish Department. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, "'It's so cool to see': Building dams by night, beavers resurface along Arizona's San Pedro River," 9 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In a radio interview this week, Mr. Silver said that CCTV had stopped airing N.B.A. games again, but that fans could stream them through Tencent, the Chinese internet conglomerate. New York Times, "China’s Forced-Labor Backlash Threatens to Put N.B.A. in Unwanted Spotlight," 9 Apr. 2021 There’s so much television out there now, with so many people subscribing to only one or two services at a time, that a lot of people who stream Them: Covenant won’t have seen, or even heard of, Lovecraft Country. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, "‘Them: Covenant’ Is Haunted by Another Show," 7 Apr. 2021 It finally was discovered, digitalized, and uploaded on YouTube, where anyone can stream it. Chris Smith, BGR, "You need to see this Soviet-era version of ‘The Lord of the Rings’," 7 Apr. 2021 Those who buy tickets to the films, which are $12 per household, can stream them starting at 7 p.m. on the first day of availability. Susan Dunne,, "Hartford Jewish Film Festival, all virtual, brings back and adds to unseen 2020 slate," 25 Feb. 2021 Viewers can stream it for free through the Apple TV and Apple Music apps, or on Eilish's YouTube channel. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "Billie Eilish Releases Live Version of 'ilomilo' Ahead of 'The World's a Little Blurry' Film," 22 Feb. 2021 Those unable to tune in to the live performance at 7 p.m. ET on January 1 can stream it until Monday, January 4. Sandra Gonzalez, CNN, "'Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical' aims to cook up first-of-its kind fun," 31 Dec. 2020 Fans will be able to stream games live with a valid TV provider log in. Dom Difurio, Dallas News, "Why Fox Sports Southwest is now Bally Sports, and where you can (and can’t) watch Texas Rangers games," 31 Mar. 2021 The app costs $25 a month or $110 for the year to stream one team's games. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "Suns, Coyotes, Diamondbacks fans lose in Sinclair Broadcast Group's sports streaming feud," 31 Mar. 2021

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for stream


Middle English streme, from Old English strēam; akin to Old High German stroum stream, Greek rhein to flow

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Time Traveler for stream

Time Traveler

The first known use of stream was before the 12th century

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Statistics for stream

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for stream



English Language Learners Definition of stream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a natural flow of water that is smaller than a river
: any flow of liquid or gas
: a continuous flow of people or things



English Language Learners Definition of stream (Entry 2 of 2)

: to move in a steady flow
: to produce a liquid continuously and often in large amounts
: to be or become wet with a liquid


\ ˈstrēm How to pronounce stream (audio) \

Kids Definition of stream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a body of water (as a brook or river) flowing on the earth
2 : a flow of liquid or gas a stream of tears
3 : a steady series (as of words or events) following one another There was an endless stream of traffic.


streamed; streaming

Kids Definition of stream (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to flow in or as if in a stream Rain was streaming down the windows.
2 : to give out a bodily fluid in large amounts His face streamed sweat.
3 : to become wet with flowing liquid The windows are streaming with rain.
4 : to trail out at full length Her hair streamed in the wind.
5 : to pour, enter, or arrive in large numbers The people streamed into the hall. Complaints were streaming in.
6 : to transfer (data, as music or videos) in a continuous stream especially to be played immediately


\ ˈstrēm How to pronounce stream (audio) \

Medical Definition of stream

: an unbroken current or flow (as of water, a bodily fluid, or a gas) — see bloodstream, midstream

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Comments on stream

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