pipe-dream

[pahyp-dreem]
See more synonyms for pipe-dream on Thesaurus.com

pipe dream

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

Origin of pipe dream

An Americanism dating back to 1895–1900
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


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Historical Examples of pipe-dream


British Dictionary definitions for pipe-dream

pipe dream

noun
  1. a fanciful or impossible plan or hope

Word Origin for pipe dream

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

Word Origin and History for pipe-dream

pipe dream

n.

1870; the sort of improbable fantasy one has while smoking opium; from pipe (n.1) + dream (n.). Old English pipdream meant "piping."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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.