\ˈstrēm \

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

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for stream

Synonyms: Verb

flow, pour, roll, run

Antonyms: Verb

back up

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Examples of stream in a Sentence


A stream flows through the field.


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 Nutter story intersects not only a steady stream of the rich and famous. Matthew Schneier, New York Times, "Meet the Man Who Dressed Mick Jagger," 5 July 2018 Audiences could rely on a steady stream of rom-coms making its way through cinemas every couple of months, and the genre could rely on them to show up. Kathryn Lindsay,, "The Rom-Com Renaissance Is Here Thanks To Netflix," 22 June 2018 In Florida, fans came in a steady stream to mourn and pay their respects at the spot where XXXTentacion, whose real name was name Jahseh Onfroy, 20, was gunned down, some leaving behind expressions of sympathy along a fence and on the sidewalk. NBC News, "As fans mourn rapper XXXTentacion's death, police search for his killer," 20 June 2018 But any stake sale involves the partners giving up a proportional stream of future income. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "How Private Equity Firms Are Solving Their Growth Problem," 12 July 2018 With a deal for CA, Broadcom will move into software used to manage business planning and other processes, adding a steady stream of recurring revenue from long-term contracts. Bloomberg,, "Broadcom agrees to buy CA Technologies for $18.9 billion," 12 July 2018 There’s little argument that O’Rourke’s steady stream of Facebook Live campaign events, combined with a Kennedyesque aura of youth and vitality, has helped to quickly establish a national profile. Kevin Diaz And Alejandra Matos, San Antonio Express-News, "O’Rourke vs. Cruz draws millions in contributions from outside of Texas," 11 July 2018 Over the next two hours, a steady stream of mourners arrived to pay respects, many of them young. Lorraine Mirabella,, "Capital Gazette staffer Rebecca Smith remembered by family, friends as 'beautiful soul'," 9 July 2018 Since then, a steady stream of additional stories documenting Grossman’s years of Facebook posting and other comments have been published by outlets including CNN and NPR. Amy S. Rosenberg,, "National GOP withdraws support for South Jersey congressional candidate Seth Grossman over 'bigotry'," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Disney’s streaming service will launch in late 2019. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Willem Dafoe to Star in Disney Adventure Movie 'Togo' (Exclusive)," 12 July 2018 SOPA Images LightRocket / Getty Images The music streaming service published a diversity data report, sharing employee demographic information gathered through an internal survey as of June 2018. Grace Donnelly, Fortune, "Spotify's June 2018 Diversity Report Shows Some Slow Progress," 11 July 2018 The approval allows Disney to absorb Fox’s movie and television studio, as well as its stake in video streaming service Hulu. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Amazon delivery vans are about to become a familiar sight," 28 June 2018 Following the news of the 20-year-old's sudden death, fans flocked to the music streaming service to pay tribute to the young artist. Morgan M. Evans, Fox News, "XXXTentacion shatters Taylor Swift's single-day Spotify streaming record following murder," 21 June 2018 The same could be said for Twitch, Amazon’s hugely popular live-streaming service for gamers. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "With IGTV, Instagram Takes Aim at YouTube," 20 June 2018 Sonically, his music was foundational to the rowdy, genre-crashing approach that’s become popular on the music streaming service SoundCloud over the past three years. Jon Caramanica, New York Times, "XXXTentacion, Rising Rapper Accused of Violence, Shot Dead at 20," 18 June 2018 YouTube might be late to the music streaming game, but its already strong video library should set it up for success., "YouTube's Music Streaming Service Is Here To Compete With Your Top Spotify Playlists," 22 May 2018 After its 2014 acquisition of Twitch, a $1 billion gaming-focused live-streaming service, Amazon slowly began attaching its many tentacles to the purple-and-white site. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Twitch Prime’s “free game every day” for half of July adds up to a ton," 3 July 2018

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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Statistics for stream

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stream

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

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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

of the body or a body part : to produce a liquid continuously and often in large amounts

: to be or become wet with a liquid


\ˈstrēm \

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 \

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

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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