\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

Physically, of course, this quartet displays a pattern, the sun being the celestial version of earthly fire and rain being the heavenly variant of terrestrial streams and ponds. Andrew Stark, WSJ, "‘Living With the Gods’ Review: The Gang’s All Here," 16 Nov. 2018 While Queen didn’t become the No. 1 album in America upon its release, Nicki’s attack on Travis Scott most likely resulted in more streams and more purchases from her stans. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and the sexist female rapper paradigm behind their feud, explained," 6 Nov. 2018 Easter Island, or Rapa Nui, has no permanent streams, and its three lakes are hard to reach and far from archaeological evidence of settlement. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "How did Easter Islanders survive without wells or streams?," 17 Oct. 2018 There are mountain streams and plenty of pit stops, including the Golden Eagle restaurant, along the trail’s famous Hairpin Turn (the food is decent, the view unbeatable). Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "The 10 Best Places to See Fall Foliage in New England," 23 July 2018 What’s different is that these mountains, streams, and valleys are man-made, but their symbolism is obvious to even the smallest child. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "How not to cheat children: Let them build their own playgrounds," 18 July 2018 Within a month of taking office, for example, Trump signed a law nullifying an Obama-era rule prohibiting coal mining companies from dumping waste into streams and waterways. Brooks Jackson,, "Trump's Numbers (Second Quarterly Update) | FactCheck," 11 July 2018 Clean Water Act Kennedy’s retirement also significantly alters the landscape for another pressing environmental question: How broadly can the federal government protect and regulate streams and waterways? David S. Rauf, Scientific American, "Clean Break: Kennedy Supreme Court Exit Could Upend Environmental Safeguards," 3 July 2018 Chile's beacon combines circuit noise with other disorderly data such as real-time earthquake measurements, online Twitter posts, radio streams, and cryptocurrency transactions. Sophia Chen, Science | AAAS, "Why are countries creating public random number generators?," 28 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Conventional wisdom has it that part of Netflix’s difficulty in earning an Oscar in one of the top five categories comes from the film industry’s distaste for streaming services. Keith Phipps, The Verge, "The company’s ongoing bid for awards legitimacy is a terrific boon for its subscribers," 3 Dec. 2018 At the top of the episode, Foy appears in a commercial parody poking fun at the sheer magnitude of available content for streaming on Netflix. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "SNL Just Trolled All Your Favorite Netflix Shows," 2 Dec. 2018 The Romanoffs is available to stream on Amazon Prime; new episodes drop every Friday. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Christina Hendricks Reflects on Her Romanoffs' Character's Shocking Death," 20 Oct. 2018 For those in the mood for a good scare, some of the scariest movies of all time are also currently available for streaming. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "The 28 Best Halloween Movies on Netflix," 11 Oct. 2018 The company’s core cable business has declined in recent years as younger viewers cancel their subscriptions and opt for video-streaming platforms owned by Netflix Inc., Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Benjamin Mullin, WSJ, "Viacom Expects Revenue Growth in 2019," 16 Nov. 2018 Netflix Every week, new original films debut on Netflix and other streaming services, often to much less fanfare than their big-screen counterparts. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Netflix’s Outlaw King, starring Chris Pine as a Scottish warrior-king, is bloody medieval fun," 9 Nov. 2018 Of course, these 97 titles arriving on the streaming platform next month help cushion this blow. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Leaving Netflix in November 2018: Say Goodbye to These 24 Movies and TV Shows," 29 Oct. 2018 And with its annual Prime membership of $119, Amazon customers receive two-day shipping, along with other perks like movie and music streaming services. Anne D'innocenzio, The Seattle Times, "Target offers two-day shipping with no minimums for holiday," 24 Oct. 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

6 Dec 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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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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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