verb (dreams, dreaming, dreamt or dreamed /, has dreamt or has dreamed)
1 to have a picture or idea in your mind when you are asleep:
I dreamt about you last night.
I dreamt that I was flying.
2 to hope for something nice in the future:
She dreams of becoming a famous actress.
II. dream2 S3 W3 BrE AmE verb (past tense and past participle dreamed or dreamt /dremt/)
[Word Family: adjective: dream, ↑dreamless, ↑dreamy; noun: ↑dream, ↑dreamer; verb: ↑dream; adverb: ↑dreamily]
1. WISH [intransitive and transitive] to think about something that you would like to happen or have
dream of/about (doing) something
She dreamed of becoming a chef.
He’s got the sort of money that you and I can only dream about.
She dreamed that one day she would be famous.
2. WHILE SLEEPING [intransitive and transitive] to have a dream while you are asleep
I dreamt about you last night.
It’s quite common to dream that you’re falling.
3. NOT PAY ATTENTION [intransitive] to think about something else and not give your attention to what is happening around you SYN daydream:
She had been dreaming and had not followed the conversation.
4. IMAGINE [intransitive and transitive] to imagine that you have done, seen, or heard something that you have not:
I was sure I posted the letter but I must have dreamt it.
5. never dreamed (that) used to say that you did not think that something would happen:
We never dreamed that we would get through to the next round.
6. wouldn’t dream of (doing) something spoken used to say that you would never do something because you think it is bad or wrong:
I wouldn’t dream of letting strangers look after my own grandmother!
7. who would have dreamt that ...? spoken used to express surprise about something that has happened:
Who would have dreamt that this would happen?
dream something ↔ away phrasal verb
to waste time by thinking about what may happen:
She would just sit in her room dreaming away the hours.
dream on phrasal verb [only in imperative] spoken
used to tell someone that they are hoping for something that will not happen:
You think I’m going to help you move house? Dream on!
dream something ↔ up phrasal verb
to think of a plan or idea, especially an unusual one:
He was continually dreaming up new schemes to promote and enlarge the business.
verb (dreamt, dreamt [dremt] ; [dremt] ) or (dreamed, dreamed)
1. intransitive, transitive to experience a series of images, events and feelings in your mind while you are asleep
• Did I talk in my sleep? I must have been dreaming.
• ~ of/about sb/sth I dreamt about you last night.
• ~ sth Did it really happen or did I just dream it?
• ~ (that)… I dreamt (that) I got the job.
2. intransitive, transitive to imagine and think about sth that you would like to happen
• ~ of/about sth She dreams of running her own business.
• It was the kind of trip most of us only dream about.
• ~ of/about doing sth (informal) I wouldn't dream of going without you (= I would never go without you).
• ~ sth Who'd have dreamt it? They're getting married.
• ~ (that)… I never dreamt (that) I'd actually get the job.
Middle English: of Germanic origin, related to Dutch droom and German Traum, and probably also to Old English drēam ‘joy, music’.
• As a child she always dreamed of working with animals.
• He often dreamed of owning a house right on the beach.
• I never dreamed I'd actually get the job.
• I wouldn't dream of going without you.
• It was the kind of trip most of us can only dream about.
• People have long dreamed of an egalitarian society.
• I always dreamed that one day I'd be famous.
• I dreamed about you last night.
• It might never happen, but I can dream can't I?
• The people still dreamed about peace returning to their country.
Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition
dream / driːm / verb ( dreamed or dreamt , dreamed or dreamt ) (SLEEP)
A2 [ I or T ] to experience events and images in your mind while you are sleeping:
What did you dream about last night?
I often dream about/of flying.
[ + that ] I dreamed that I was having a baby.
[ I or T ] mainly UK to imagine that you have heard, done, or seen something when you have not:
Did you say that you were going tonight or did I dream it?
I thought I'd bought some polish and it seems I haven't - I must have been dreaming.
dream / driːm / verb ( dreamed or dreamt , dreamed or dreamt ) (HOPE)
B1 [ I ] to imagine something that you would like to happen:
I dream of living on a tropical island.
[ + that ] He never dreamed that one day he would become president.
dream on informal used to tell someone that what they are hoping for is not likely to happen or to be true:
"Watch. All I have to do is wink at her, and she'll come over here." "Dream on, Dave!"
© Cambridge University Press 2013
dreams, dreaming, dreamed, dreamt
(American English uses the form dreamed as the past tense and past participle. British English uses either dreamed or dreamt.)
1) N-COUNT A dream is an imaginary series of events that you experience in your mind while you are asleep.
He had a dream about Claire...
I had a dream that I was in an old study, surrounded by leather books.
2) VERB When you dream, you experience imaginary events in your mind while you are asleep.
[V that] Ivor dreamed that he was on a bus...
[V about/of n] She dreamed about her baby. [Also V]
3) N-COUNT: usu with supp You can refer to a situation or event as a dream if you often think about it because you would like it to happen.
He had finally accomplished his dream of becoming a pilot...
My dream is to have a house in the country...
You can make that dream come true.
4) VERB If you often think about something that you would very much like to happen or have, you can say that you dream of it.
[V of/about n/-ing] As a schoolgirl, she had dreamed of becoming an actress...
[V of/about n/-ing] For most of us, a brand new designer kitchen is something we can only dream about...
[V that] I dream that my son will attend college and find a good job.
5) ADJ: ADJ n You can use dream to describe something that you think is ideal or perfect, especially if it is something that you thought you would never be able to have or experience.
He had his dream house built on the banks of the river Bure.
...a dream holiday to Jamaica.
6) N-SING: poss N If you describe something as a particular person's dream, you think that it would be ideal for that person and that he or she would like it very much.
Greece is said to be a botanist's dream...
He's every girl's dream!
7) N-SING: a N If you say that something is a dream, you mean that it is wonderful. [INFORMAL]
8) N-COUNT: usu sing, with supp You can refer to a situation or event that does not seem real as a dream, especially if it is very strange or unpleasant.
When the right woman comes along, this bad dream will be over.
9) VERB: with neg (emphasis) If you say that you would not dream of doing something, you are emphasizing that you would never do it because you think it is wrong or is not possible or suitable for you.
[V of -ing/n] I wouldn't dream of making fun of you...
[V of -ing/n] My sons would never dream of expecting their clothes to be ironed.
10) VERB: with brd-neg (emphasis) If you say that you never dreamed that something would happen, you are emphasizing that you did not think that it would happen because it seemed very unlikely.
[V that] I never dreamed that I would be able to afford a home here...
[V of n] Who could ever dream of a disaster like this?...
I find life more charming and more astonishing than I'd ever dreamed.
11) → See also pipe dream, wet dream
12) PHRASE If you tell someone to dream on, you mean that something they are hoping for is unlikely to happen.
`Perhaps one day I may go on a relaxing holiday.' - `Yeah, dream on.'
13) PHRASE: PHR after v, v-link PHR If you say that you are in a dream, you mean that you do not concentrate properly on what you are doing because you are thinking about other things.
All day long I moved in a dream, my body performing its duties automatically.
14) PHRASE: PHR after v If you say that someone does something like a dream, you think that they do it very well. If you say that something happens like a dream, you mean that it happens successfully without any problems.
She cooked like a dream...
His ship had sailed like a dream.
15) PHRASE: n PHR If you describe someone or something as the person or thing of your dreams, you mean that you consider them to be ideal or perfect.
This could be the man of my dreams.
16) PHRASE: with brd-neg, PHR with cl (emphasis) If you say that you could not imagine a particular thing in your wildest dreams, you are emphasizing that you think it is extremely strange or unlikely.
Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine there would be this kind of money in the game.
17) PHRASE: n PHR, PHR after v, v-link PHR (emphasis) If you describe something as being beyond your wildest dreams, you are emphasizing that it is better than you could have imagined or hoped for.
She had already achieved success beyond her wildest dreams.
- dream up
2dream verb dreams; dreamed /ˈdrɛmt, ˈdriːmd/ or dreamt /ˈdrɛmt/; dream·ing
1 : to have visions and thoughts in your sleep : to have a dream while you are sleeping
- often + of or about
• He dreamed of drowning and woke up trembling.
• I have trouble remembering the things I dream about.
• Last night I dreamed (that) you were here talking to me.
• Did it really happen or did I just dream it?
2 : to think about something that you wish would happen or something that you want to do or be
• He tends to dream big but he never really does the things he dreams of doing.
• She stared out the window dreaming. [=daydreaming]
• You're dreaming [=you're completely wrong] if you think being a parent is going to be easy.
- often + of
• She spent hours reading love stories and dreaming of romance.
• They dreamed of success.
• He dreamed of becoming a teacher.
• As a child, I always dreamed (that) I would be an astronaut when I grew up.
• I sat on the porch and dreamed away the day. [=I spent the whole day thinking and dreaming]
• I never dreamt that it would be so difficult. [=it was much more difficult than I expected it to be]
dream on informal
- used to say that you do not think something that another person wants or expects will ever happen
• “I think my band will be famous one day.” “Dream on.”
dream up [phrasal verb] dream up (something) also dream (something) up : to think of or invent (something) in your mind
• He dreams up all sorts of fantastic adventures.
• She tries a lot of new recipes that she dreams up herself.
• They dreamed up a plan to get the information.
never/not dream of
- used to say that you would never do something or think of doing something
• I would never dream of asking for more money.
• “Did you ever do anything to hurt her?” “I wouldn't dream of it!”