\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for stream

Synonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The property also features a waterfall, stream and frog pond with lily pads. Nancy Ngo, Star Tribune, 16 July 2021 Pollstar tracks his number of total stream watchers. Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 July 2021 The prequel film will hit theaters on Oct. 1 and stream on the platform that month. Rachel Yang,, 15 July 2021 The new documentary Roadrunner (which arrives in theaters July 16 and will later air on CNN and stream on HBO Max) vividly unpacks the career ascendancy of the roguish truth teller, whose final decades could be fairly defined by their superlatives. Chris Lee, Vulture, 15 July 2021 The Sports Hub’s online stream is already built into its share., 14 July 2021 One popular live stream showed a calf trying to clamber out from under a snoozing adult during a group nap. Time, 14 July 2021 Items will float in floodwaters and clog storm drains and stream channels. Michael Donohue, The Arizona Republic, 14 July 2021 For Hafer, Black Rifle’s physical stores represent not just another revenue stream for his business but another business opportunity for his subculture. New York Times, 14 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When new episodes are available, Virgin River season 4 will exclusively stream on Netflix. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, 17 July 2021 The show, hosted by Michael Strahan and Rob Gronkowski, will stream on-demand on the show website starting at 8 p.m. EDT Aug. 5. USA TODAY, 16 July 2021 The one-hour event will stream live on's homepage and across mobile devices via CNN's apps for iOS and Android with a log-in to a cable provider. CNN, 13 July 2021 Hundreds of live soccer matches will stream exclusively on the service. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 13 July 2021 Viewers can also stream live and on-demand on Paramount+. Essence, 13 July 2021 While there is no way to stream the Gossip Girl reboot online free, the series is available on HBO Max. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, 30 June 2021 The one-night-only production will be available for fans to stream globally via YouTube and will be filmed with cutting-edge drone technology to create an ethereal, otherworldly performance. Bianca Betancourt, Harper's BAZAAR, 30 June 2021 How to watch: The best way to stream Barrios vs. Davis on Sling TV. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, 26 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About stream

Time Traveler for stream

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for stream

Last Updated

19 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

More from Merriam-Webster on stream

Nglish: Translation of stream for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!