\ 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

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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 Though a welcome addition to the revenue stream, masks won’t replace Vistaprint’s existing printing and labeling business, Mr. Quinn said. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Companies Free Up Funds to Pivot Amid Coronavirus Pandemic," 19 May 2020 The team financed the brand new $1.4 billion Chase Center, saw its dynasty collapse in the arena’s debut season and now — because of the coronavirus pandemic — has seen virtually all revenue streams dry up. Ann Killion,, "Harsh times could await some Bay Area teams as coronavirus slows cash flow," 14 May 2020 But many revenue streams are under pressure, notably from sales taxes. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "Why Economic Pain Could Persist Even After the Pandemic Is Contained," 11 May 2020 Players have a nearly 50% stake in those local revenue streams, so they would be affected right along with team owners. Sam Farmerstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "With the prospect of empty stadiums, how will the NFL move forward?," 8 May 2020 And social media does seem to be the area where most football players and men’s and women’s basketball players — the groups that stand to benefit the most — can access the soon-to-be-legal revenue stream. Eric Hansen, Indianapolis Star, "How NIL rules play out at Notre Dame are intriguing, but it really should be a waiting game," 8 May 2020 With such a major revenue stream drying up almost entirely, finding ways to continue supporting artists in the coming months is an urgent priority for anyone who cares about music and the artists who create it. Mary Colurso |, al, "Drive-By Truckers release ‘Quarantine Together’ on Bandcamp," 1 May 2020 That is precisely the kind of problem that can be mitigated through ordinary fiscal responsibility: Don’t take on debt in good times, carry reserves when possible, diversify revenue streams. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "A Federal Bailout Won’t Fix States’ Finances," 26 Apr. 2020 The wildlife and sport fish programs, in which participants and manufacturers provide such a significant revenue stream for state conservation uses through an excise tax on their products, is much-admired. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Excise tax programs continue to provide critical support for Wisconsin fish and wildlife," 26 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The number of hours watched -- a key benchmark for streaming platforms -- was up less than 2% in January from a year earlier, according to a report Wednesday from StreamElements and Olga Kharif,, "Microsoft Lured Ninja to Mixer, But Audience Is Barely Growing," 19 May 2020 Infections have streamed through Laguna Honda Hospital, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, South of Market’s single-room-occupancy hotels and the 340-bed Multi-Service Center South, the city’s largest homeless shelter. Lizzie Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle, "When the coronavirus came to San Francisco’s Bayview, it attacked the heart of the historically black neighborhood: the elders," 15 May 2020 The Crystal Ballroom started live streaming concerts May 8. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "McMenamins rehiring staff, reopening hotels amid coronavirus pandemic," 12 May 2020 Pink Floyd will stream a concert from the British rock band's long history every Friday at 12 p.m. ET. Brian Ries, CNN, "Must-see performances you can livestream from the couch this week," 11 May 2020 Have a Good Trip, now available for streaming on Netflix, takes viewers on a wild ride down the rabbit hole of psychedelics — without even having to partake yourself. Ineye Komonibo,, "The Celebrity Stories In Have A Good Trip Are As Wild As The Drugs," 11 May 2020 The collective recently live-streamed a four-hour-long set of their trademark house and disco music for Paradisco devotees, which helped raise over $6,000 for the staff of Le Bain. David Dodge, Condé Nast Traveler, "How New York’s LGBTQ+ Communities Are Keeping the City's Nightlife Scene Alive," 11 May 2020 According to a news release, The Carol Burnett Show will be available for streaming on demand across Shout! Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "All 11 Seasons of The Carol Burnett Show Headed to Streaming Platforms for the First Time," 29 Apr. 2020 Apple claims the iPhone SE's battery can last up to 13 hours for local video playback, eight for streaming video, and 40 for audio playback. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "iPhone SE review: Small screen, huge performance," 29 Apr. 2020

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

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Stream.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for stream


How to pronounce stream (audio)

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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