\ 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


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

This is about creating a new opportunity for brand partners that creates a new revenue stream for us. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "NBCU Wades Into E-Commerce, Enlisting Bill Murray as Pitchman," 28 Mar. 2019 All that uncertainty makes alternate revenue streams crucial, especially for grocers, which generate much skimpier margins than, say, fashion or luxury retailers. Matthew Boyle, The Seattle Times, "Amazon has a big advertising business. Walmart wants one too," 19 Feb. 2019 To stop slurping data is to cut off a revenue stream, and putting money into data security appears on a budget sheet like dumping money into a black hole. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Tech Companies Shouldn't Make Us Trust Them, At All," 11 Jan. 2019 With such a tool, reasoned Stark, alternative revenue streams could be built to replace the ad dollars that monetize so much of the content on the web today. Morgen Peck, Glamour, "Cryptocurrency Is Not Just a Boys' Club," 11 Dec. 2018 Media companies, grappling with a draining pool of ad money, needed new revenue streams, and launching or acquiring product review sites was one way to accomplish that. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Sites like the Strategist, Wirecutter, and BuzzFeed Reviews want to help you find the best of the best.," 11 Dec. 2018 The telecom industry’s petition, which was filed in May via USTelecom, its Washington trade group, would end the leasing rule within 2 1/2 years, cutting off that revenue stream. Michael Hiltzik,, "Sonic is a small ISP that competes brilliantly with the big guys — so they're trying to throttle its business," 5 July 2018 From there, Rally Rd. can bring the cars to events across the country, making them accessible to their investors and new potential shareholders – and creating a revenue stream to pay operating expenses of the cars and dividends to investors. Fortune, "Can't Afford a Ferrari? How About Buying a Share for $80," 29 June 2018 But within hours of Monday’s decision, some officials quickly called for the Legislature to consider tapping into new revenue streams to replace the $2.2 billion that the question could have generated. Matt Stout,, "Voters won’t be able to weigh in on the millionaires tax. How about the Legislature?," 19 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Mediterranean-style house has an extra long winding driveway for privacy leading up to a huge motor-court that can hold up to 30 cars—and even has a palatial fountain streaming outside. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "John Stamos’s Former Calabasas Mansion is Now On The Market For $4.1 Million," 9 Apr. 2019 Beyoncé's doc airs next Wednesday only on Netflix, so be sure to subscribe to the entertainment streaming service (or get ahold of a friend's password). Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Beyoncé's Homecoming Netflix Documentary: Everything You Need to Know," 8 Apr. 2019 The departure of the two Latino-themed shows demonstrates the challenges such projects still encounter on networks and streaming services. Russell Contreras, The Seattle Times, "Cancellations of Latino-themed shows spark anger, reflection," 30 Mar. 2019 Photo: Reuters/Stephen lam Apple’s extravagant unveiling on Monday of AppleTV+, its new video content streaming service, unveiled very little. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "Apple Doesn’t Have Prime’s Number," 26 Mar. 2019 Some parents are willing to be a bit more extreme: 3 in 10 have canceled streaming services or other online accounts and 24 percent have forgone saving for retirement in order to save money for a family trip. Marie Haaland, Fox News, "The average American's 'dream vacation' takes just under a year to save for, study finds," 28 Sep. 2018 The streaming platform has snapped up big names for forthcoming shows and movies including former president Barack Obama, media mogul Shonda Rhimes and more, forcing networks and streaming services to compete. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Netflix Ends HBO's 17-Year Streak With the Most Emmy Nominations," 12 July 2018 There were dozens of companies on the list, including dating apps like Hinge and music streaming services like Spotify, but one may raise more than a few eyebrows in Washington: the Russian internet giant Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "Facebook Gave a Russian Internet Giant a Special Data Extension," 10 July 2018 Google did something similar earlier this year, bumping up the cost of its YouTube TV streaming service from $35 to $40 per month for new customers. Jennifer Van Grove,, "Price hikes for cord-cutters. What gives?," 7 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

12 Apr 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 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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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 affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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