1. A series of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep.
2. A daydream; a reverie.
3. A state of abstraction; a trance: wandering around in a dream.
4. A condition or achievement that is longed for; an aspiration: a dream of owning their own business.
5. A wild fancy or unrealistic hope: He knew that playing for a professional team was only a dream.
6. Informal One that is exceptionally gratifying, excellent, or beautiful: Her boyfriend is a dream.
v. dreamed or dreamt (drĕmt), dream·ing, dreams
1. To experience a dream in sleep: dreamed of meeting an old friend.
2. To daydream: sat there dreaming during class.
3. To have a deep aspiration or hope: dreaming of a world at peace.
4. To regard something as feasible or practical: I wouldn't dream of skiing on icy slopes.
1. To experience a dream of while asleep: Did it storm last night, or did I dream it?
2. To conceive as possible; imagine: We never dreamed it would snow so much.
3. To have as an aspiration or hope: She dreams that she will become a pilot.
4. To pass (time) idly or in reverie.
dream on Informal
Used in the imperative to indicate that a statement or suggestion is improbable or unrealistic.
To invent; concoct: dreamed up a plan to corner the market.
[Middle English drem, from Old English drēam, joy, music; akin to Old Saxon drōm, mirth, dream.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.