pipe dream

Save This Word!
See synonyms for: pipe dream / pipe-dreamed / pipe-dreaming / pipe-dreams on Thesaurus.com


any fantastic notion, hope, or story: Her plans for a movie career are just a pipe dream.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of pipe dream

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900

Definition for pipe dream (2 of 2)

[ pahyp-dreem ]
/ ˈpaɪpˌdrim /

verb (used without object), pipe-dreamed or pipe-dreamt, pipe-dream·ing.

to indulge in pipe dreams; fantasize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for pipe dream

pipe dream


a fanciful or impossible plan or hope
alluding to dreams produced by smoking an opium pipe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with pipe dream

pipe dream

A fantastic notion or vain hope, as in I'd love to have one home in the mountains and another at the seashore, but that's just a pipe dream. Alluding to the fantasies induced by smoking an opium pipe, this term has been used more loosely since the late 1800s.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
Learning At Home Just Got Easier!