dream

1 of 2

noun

often attributive
1
: a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep
had a dream about climbing a mountain
gives me bad dreams
compare rem sleep
2
: an experience of waking life having the characteristics of a dream: such as
a
: a visionary (see visionary entry 1 sense 2a) creation of the imagination : daydream
the dreams of her youth
b
: a state of mind marked by abstraction or release from reality : reverie
walking around in a dream
c
: an object seen in a dreamlike state : vision
a man that was her dream come true
3
: something notable for its beauty, excellence, or enjoyable quality
the new car is a dream to operate
4
a
: a strongly desired goal or purpose
a dream of becoming president
b
: something that fully satisfies a wish : ideal
a meal that was a gourmet's dream
dreamful adjective
dreamfully adverb
dreamfulness noun
dreamless adjective
dreamlessly adverb
dreamlessness noun
dreamlike adjective

dream

2 of 2

verb

dreamed ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) ˈdrēmd How to pronounce dream (audio) or dreamt ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) ; dreaming ˈdrē-miŋ How to pronounce dream (audio)

intransitive verb

1
: to have a series of thoughts, images, or emotions while sleeping : to have a dream (see dream entry 1 sense 1)
doesn't recall dreaming last night
dream of departed loved ones
2
: to indulge in daydreams or fantasies
dreaming of a better future
3
: to appear tranquil or dreamy (see dreamy sense 3a)
houses dream in leafy shadowsGladys Taber

transitive verb

1
: to have a dream of
dreamt that he was running in the woods
2
: to consider as a possibility : imagine
never dreamed I would become a teacher
3
: to pass (time) in reverie or inaction
dreaming the hours away
Phrases
dream of
: to consider possible or fitting
wouldn't dream of disturbing you

Did you know?

Not until the 13th century was our word dream used in the sense of “a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep.” The word itself is considerably older. In Old English dream means “joy,” “noise,” or “music.” Yet the change in meaning did not come from the development of a more specialized sense. Rather it appears that after many Scandinavian conflicts, conquests, and settlements in Britain the Old Norse draumr, meaning “a dream during sleep,” influenced the meaning of the etymologically related, English word. By the end of the 14th century the earlier meanings had been entirely replaced.

Example Sentences

Noun He had a dream about climbing a mountain. You were in my dream last night. I've found the man of my dreams. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine it would be so much fun. If you think the work will be easy, you're living in a dream world. He has had a lifelong dream of becoming an actor. It's a dream of mine to own a house in the country. Tell me your hopes and dreams. Making it to the Olympics was a dream come true. Verb Did it really happen or did I just dream it? He tends to dream big but he never really does the things he dreams of doing. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The dream ended for Auburn on Saturday night in Birmingham, and Alabama is moving on in the NCAA Tournament. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, 19 Mar. 2023 After perhaps 40 minutes of incredibly soothing wordless sound (what was time inside that church?), and another dream narration from Laraaji and Arji, the piece ended. Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rolling Stone, 19 Mar. 2023 But for now, the dream of seeing what kind of kitchen Meyers can put together with $150 million isn't dead yet. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 18 Mar. 2023 Advertisement Within six months of arriving in town, Clarke fulfilled her dream of appearing onstage at the Old Globe Theatre. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Mar. 2023 Part of the appeal of Scandi style is its close connection to lifestyle: the magazine dream of large white rooms tastefully appointed with midcentury design and shiny, happy people on bikes. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, 17 Mar. 2023 The dream of Eugenia Kuyda, CEO of Luka and creator of Replika, was to create a therapeutic friend who would cheer you up and encourage you. Katherine Cross, WIRED, 17 Mar. 2023 While securing a place at MIT was the dream of most students in the poll, the school is notoriously difficult to get into. Chloe Taylor, Fortune, 16 Mar. 2023 Starring reggae icon Jimmy Cliff as Ivan Martin, a poor man from the countryside who travels to Kingston with the dream of becoming a musician, the film resonated for its relatable portrayal of life in Jamaica. Ariana Marsh, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 Mar. 2023
Verb
Maisonette The Future Is Female Teether $12 at Maisonette For the budding feminist, a sweet reminder to dream big. Olivia Hosken, Town & Country, 17 Mar. 2023 Given that the permitting, construction and start-up of a large-scale new, greenfield refining operation in the U.S. would certainly take well more than a decade to complete, no company would dream of even attempting to mount such a project. David Blackmon, Forbes, 16 Mar. 2023 Plaintiffs wouldn’t dream of bringing cases based on it. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 13 Mar. 2023 This is proof that dreams dream big, and dreams do come true. Joey Nolfi, EW.com, 13 Mar. 2023 This is proof that dreams — dream big and dreams do come true. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2023 The way Arenado is performing these days, hey, why not dream big? Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, 12 Mar. 2023 The Bridges dream Speculation regarding Houston's interest in both Bridges and Johnson was reported by The Athletic's Kelly Iko in early February, and interest in Bridges in particular appears rampant league-wide. Michael Shapiro, Chron, 7 Mar. 2023 Few people would dream of writing a novel without characters, but a novel without a plot is practically normal. B. D. Mcclay, The New Yorker, 6 Mar. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dream.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

Middle English dreem, from Old English drēam noise, joy, and Old Norse draumr dream; akin to Old High German troum dream

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dream was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near dream

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 27 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

dream

1 of 2 noun
1
: a series of thoughts, pictures, or feelings occurring during sleep
2
: a vision created in the imagination : daydream
3
: something notable for its beauty or pleasing quality
4
: a goal that is longed for : ideal
dreamlike adjective

dream

2 of 2 verb
ˈdrēm
dreamed ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) ˈdrēmd How to pronounce dream (audio) or dreamt ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) ; dreaming ˈdrē-miŋ How to pronounce dream (audio)
1
: to have a dream
dreamed about my dog
2
: to spend time having daydreams
3
: to think of as happening or possible : imagine
never dreamed I'd win
dreamer noun

Medical Definition

dream

1 of 2 noun
often attributive
: a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep and especially during REM sleep compare daydream

dream

2 of 2 verb
dreamed ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) ˈdrēmd How to pronounce dream (audio) or dreamt ˈdrem(p)t How to pronounce dream (audio) ; dreaming ˈdrē-miŋ How to pronounce dream (audio)

intransitive verb

1
: to have a dream
2
: to indulge in daydreams or fantasies

transitive verb

: to have a dream of
dreamer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dream

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