stream·​ing | \ˈstrē-miŋ \

Definition of streaming 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the act, the process, or an instance of streaming data (see stream entry 2 sense transitive 3) or of accessing data that is being streamed … among the hundreds whose presentations are freely available for streaming on the conference website.— Joanne McNeil Streaming is preferable for sites that feature live broadcasts (e.g. live speeches and keynote addresses), in which case downloading files is not an option.— Neo Mai and Ken Neo T. K.

2 : an act or instance of flowing specifically : cyclosis

3 British : tracking



Definition of streaming (Entry 2 of 2)

: relating to or being the transfer of data (such as audio or video material) in a continuous stream especially for immediate processing or playback

Examples of streaming in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Of note, the mid-year report reveals on-demand audio streaming is up 53 percent in 2018, while album sales have decreased by 17 percent and digital track sales by 22 percent. Karen Bliss, Billboard, "Drake Cleans Up & Streaming Continues to Grow in Nielsen Music Canada's Mid-Year 2018 Report," 12 July 2018 Rather than a year-long event, the streaming service has been streaming in sprints. Megan Farokhmanesh, The Verge, "Twitch is streaming a Pokémon marathon on Thanksgiving," 21 Nov. 2018 After debuting the crazy-popular film The Christmas Prince last year—which is getting a sequel, by the way—the streaming service has decided to sign up for four more festive flicks in 2018, beginning with The Holiday Calendar. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Netflix Just Released the Trailer for the New Christmas Movie 'The Holiday Calendar'," 23 Oct. 2018 The Hollywood Reporter reports that Lively will be closely working alongside with the streaming service for the untitled show. D. Elizabeth, Glamour, "Blake Lively Is Making a New TV Show That Could Be a Lot Like Gossip Girl," 11 Oct. 2018 Disney is working hard to get its exclusive streaming service up and running by fall 2019, and The Mandalorian is set to debut on that service. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "Everything We Know So Far About Star Wars "The Mandalorian"," 5 Oct. 2018 The streaming giant beat out HBO with 112 Emmy nominations, besting the cable network's 108 and ending its 17-year streak of getting the most Television Academy nods. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "With 112 Emmy Nominations, Netflix Officially Rules Television," 12 July 2018 The addition will mean Microsoft’s consoles join the Apple TV 4K and Google’s Chromecast Ultra as the only streaming devices that currently support both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Xbox One is getting Dolby Vision support," 12 July 2018 After all, the streaming giant had been closing the gap at an unprecedented clip in recent years. Lacey Rose, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: HBO's Most Nominated Streak Ends Amid AT&T's Volume Push," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While many of the directors on the list have worked with mega streaming services like Netflix and Hulu in the past, others, like Nolan, have spoken out against how streaming giants like Netflix are ruining cinema. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Major directors, actors petition Warner Bros. to save FilmStruck," 15 Nov. 2018 Even if streaming boxes end up much cheaper than current consoles and PCs for the same experience, there may not be that many additional potential players who don't currently have high-end gaming hardware. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Game streaming’s latency problems will be over in a few years, CEO says," 18 Sep. 2018 Nickelodeon's foray into the streaming universe comes at a time when companies have been slowly but surely pulling their catalogues from various services in an effort to launch their own platforms. Devon Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Nickelodeon Has Started Its Very Own Streaming Service," 29 Aug. 2018 Then one day, boom, the streaming subscription service thing happens. Recode Staff, Recode, "Why ‘Star Wars’ is like a social network, and other insights from Eugene Wei on Recode Media," 13 July 2018 In total, Facebook will get streaming rights to nine games, available on the Big3 on Fox page, as well as game recaps and highlight segments for all 37 games of the season, including the championship game. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Ice Cube's Big3 Basketball League Will Start Live Streaming on Facebook Following Fox Sports Deal," 12 June 2018 In third place was YouTube Red, another streaming subscription service which is re-launching Tuesday as YouTube Premium. Claire Atkinson, NBC News, "Consumers love streaming services, still don't love pay TV and ISPs," 22 May 2018 Also beyond debate, sadly: how terrible most streaming music sounds, especially to generations weaned on the quality of CDs and the warm sound of vinyl. Jeff Slate, WSJ, "Streaming Music Sounds Terrible. These Apps Can Help," 10 May 2018 Amazon Prime's streaming lineup additions for March range from the super-serious to the kinda silly. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "What's coming to Amazon Prime in March: More 'Sneaky Pete,' 'Dangerous Book for Boys'," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'streaming.' 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 streaming


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1980, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for streaming

Last Updated

10 Dec 2018

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The first known use of streaming was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of streaming

computers : playing continuously as data is sent to a computer over the Internet


stream·​ing | \ˈstrē-miŋ \

Medical Definition of streaming 

: an act or instance of flowing specifically : cyclosis

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More from Merriam-Webster on streaming

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with streaming

Nglish: Translation of streaming for Spanish Speakers

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

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the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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