dream

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdrēm How to pronounce dream (audio) \

Definition of dream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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
4a : 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

dream

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) \

Definition of dream (Entry 2 of 2)

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 shadows— Gladys 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
dream of
: to consider possible or fitting wouldn't dream of disturbing you

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Other Words from dream

Noun

dreamful \ ˈdrēm-​fəl How to pronounce dream (audio) \ adjective
dreamfully \ ˈdrēm-​fə-​lē How to pronounce dream (audio) \ adverb
dreamfulness noun
dreamless adjective
dreamlessly adverb
dreamlessness noun
dreamlike \ ˈdrēm-​ˌlīk How to pronounce dream (audio) \ adjective

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.

Examples of dream in a Sentence

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Stepping out in The Row may be a dream come true as the actress has had a longtime love for her sisters' style. Vanessa Etienne, PEOPLE.com, 19 Sep. 2021 But there are key things to look for when deciding whether a property is your future dream home. BostonGlobe.com, 19 Sep. 2021 To be in that position after being in four NFC championship games would be a dream come true. Chris Cason, Forbes, 16 Sep. 2021 Her dream is to have a resource center where women can meet in person and learn the tools to understand how to navigate adversity. San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Sep. 2021 Footing the bill for the flight for an undisclosed sum is 38-year-old billionaire businessman Jared Isaacman, who readily admits the space trip is a dream come true. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, 15 Sep. 2021 Ashley had a dream to create an inclusive ballet company featuring all body types and ethnicities. Paul Larosa, CBS News, 8 Sep. 2021 Chris Olave had a dream school — a program that intrigued him with its innovative head coach and high-octane, high-concept, high-scoring offense. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 8 Sep. 2021 One of the best ways to have that dream trip live up to expectations is to hire one of the best safari outfitters, as voted by the discerning readers of T+L. Scott Bay, Travel + Leisure, 8 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Benedict Cumberbatch has embarked on a year most stars can only dream about. Clayton Davis, Variety, 10 Sep. 2021 The series would serve as a version of the third and fourth Batman films that Burton never got to make and that fans could only dream about after Joel Schumacher stepped in as director of the franchise in the 1990s. Washington Post, 6 Aug. 2021 Once upon a time, the tiny Belridge Elementary School District in Kern County had resources that other districts could only dream of. Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2021 With Jackson at quarterback, the Ravens have a numbers advantage that other teams can only dream of. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, 6 Sep. 2021 Somewhat surprisingly, this has allowed Immortals to become margin positive across all of its business sectors, which is something that many teams that still rely heavily on VC funding can only dream of at this point. Mike Stubbs, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 In fact, the former millionaire has lived a life most thrill-seekers can only dream of. Adam Woodard, The Arizona Republic, 31 Aug. 2021 Lunching at the Los Feliz hotspot All Time, the couple, who fell for one another on the set of Don’t Worry, Darling last year, displayed the kind of genuine public affection the Love Islanders can only dream of. Alice Newbold, Vogue, 11 Aug. 2021 Working with Musically Fed at the festival means volunteers like Thomas have access to the shows and a vantage point that most ticket holders can only dream of. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, 27 July 2021

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.

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First Known Use of dream

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

History and Etymology for dream

Noun and Verb

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

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Time Traveler for dream

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near dream

dreadnought

dream

dream away

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Statistics for dream

Last Updated

23 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dream.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dream. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for dream

dream

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a series of thoughts, visions, or feelings that happen during sleep
: an idea or vision that is created in your imagination and that is not real
: something that you have wanted very much to do, be, or have for a long time

dream

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dream (Entry 2 of 2)

: to have visions and thoughts in your sleep : to have a dream while you are sleeping
: to think about something that you wish would happen or something that you want to do or be

dream

noun
\ ˈdrēm How to pronounce dream (audio) \

Kids Definition of dream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a series of thoughts or visions that occur during sleep
3 : something very pleasing Our vacation was a dream.
4 : a goal that is wished for It's her dream to travel.

dream

verb
dreamed\ ˈdremt , ˈdrēmd \ or dreamt\ ˈdremt \; dreaming\ ˈdrē-​miŋ \

Kids Definition of dream (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to have a series of thoughts or visions while sleeping
2 : to spend time having daydreams
3 : to think of as happening or possible I dream of a better world.
dream up
: to think of or invent Did you dream up this plan?

Other Words from dream

dreamer \ ˈdrē-​mər \ noun

dream

noun, often attributive
\ ˈdrēm How to pronounce dream (audio) \

Medical Definition of dream

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a series of thoughts, images, or emotions occurring during sleep and especially during REM sleep — compare daydream

dream

verb
\ ˈdrēm How to pronounce dream (audio) \
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) \

Medical Definition of dream (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

: to have a dream of

Other Words from dream

dreamer \ ˈdrē-​mər How to pronounce dream (audio) \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on dream

Nglish: Translation of dream for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dream for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dream

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