\ 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
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

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Synonyms for stream

Synonyms: Verb


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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 Met Gala isn't televised, but there will be plenty of live streams to watch the celebrities walk up the notorious Met Gala stairs. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "The 2019 Met Gala Is Coming—Here's What You Need to Know," 1 Feb. 2019 Typically, the company’s live streams get started 15 to 20 minutes prior to takeoff. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How to watch four rocket launches on a banner day for the space industry," 18 Dec. 2018 Brand-new information about that horrific shooting on Sunday, caught on live stream during a Madden videogame tournament, Madden 2019. Fox News, "The life and legacy of Sen. John McCain," 28 Aug. 2018 The ESPYs will air on ABC and live-stream online at this Wednesday, July 18, at 8:00 ET/7:00 CT. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The 2018 ESPYs Will Make One Thing Clear: The Future Is Definitely Female," 18 July 2018 Wildlife lovers around the world can once again tune in to a live stream of Katmai National Park and Preserve's salmon-grabbing brown bears. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "The Katmai bear cam is back: Watch the live stream here," 19 June 2018 Someone saw the live stream early Monday and reported it to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, which was able to track down the phone that had recorded the suicide to Key West, according to Key West Police Department spokeswoman Alyson Crean. Gwen Filosa, miamiherald, "A Key West man took his life on Facebook Live," 11 June 2018 Watch the live stream at The public can send questions on social media by using #askNASA. Richard Tribou,, "NASA to unveil Mars Curiosity rover's discoveries," 7 June 2018 That’s where the father of Slinger coach Tanya Villarreal watched the live stream of the Owls' state quarterfinal game against Oak Creek. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Slinger gets last word in back-and-forth affair with Oak Creek in D1 state quarterfinals," 7 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Tesla also streamed the car, with three cameras mounted inside, giving close-ups of a dummy known as Starman for four hours of its flight through space. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "One Year On, the Falcon Heavy's Successful Launch Is Still Incredible," 6 Feb. 2019 The Dior Haute Couture show will stream on Monday, beginning at 2:30 p.m., Paris time (which is 8:30 a.m. EST and 5:30 a.m. PST, for reference). Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Watch the Dior Haute Couture Show LIVE from Paris, Right Here," 20 Jan. 2019 Strangers are streaming in and out, commenting (or even complaining) about your choices of decor and poking their heads into your closets. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "The LAPD Has Caught The Man Who Posed As A Realtor To Rob Celeb Homes," 4 Jan. 2019 In all sincerity, though, Markle should stream Phoenix. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Meghan Markle's Security Is So Intense It Reportedly Annoyed Kendall Jenner," 17 Dec. 2018 Netflix’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina starts streaming on October 26, and to celebrate the new series’s premiere, Netflix threw a big party, complete with a black carpet and one very surprising star: Salem the cat. Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, ""Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Star Salem the Cat Walked the Show's Red Carpet," 22 Oct. 2018 When Twitch, an Internet streaming platform, held a Bob Ross marathon in 2015, a reported 5.6 million people watched. Julia Lyon, Washington Post, "People are waiting in line. Is it Hamilton? No, it’s Bob Ross on YouTube.," 13 July 2018 For five days in a Chicago church, thousands of people streamed past. Mary Schmich,, "The painful and necessary growth Emmett Till gave us," 13 July 2018 Or stream a new stand-up special from Jim Jefferies. Andrew R. Chow, New York Times, "What’s on TV Friday: ‘Operation Thai Cave Rescue’ and Jim Jefferies," 13 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

15 Feb 2019

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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
: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on stream

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stream

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stream

Spanish Central: Translation of stream

Nglish: Translation of stream for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stream for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about stream

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 express emotion in a dramatic way

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