verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

Nearby words

  1. streak culture,
  2. streak plate,
  3. streaker,
  4. streaking,
  5. streaky,
  6. stream capture,
  7. stream of consciousness,
  8. stream-of-consciousness,
  9. streambed,
  10. streamer


    on stream, in or into operation: The factory will be on stream in a month.

Origin of stream

before 900; (noun) Middle English streem, Old English strēam; cognate with German Strom, Old Norse straumr; akin to Greek rheîn to flow (see rheum); (v.) Middle English streamen, derivative of the noun

Related forms
Can be confusedbrook creek river stream

Synonym study

Stream, current refer to a steady flow. In this use they are interchangeable. In the sense of running water, however, a stream is a flow that may be as small as a brook or as large as a river: A number of streams have their sources in mountains. Current refers to the most rapidly moving part of the stream: This river has a swift current. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stream

British Dictionary definitions for stream



a small river; brook
any steady flow of water or other fluid
something that resembles a stream in moving continuously in a line or particular direction
a rapid or unbroken flow of speech, etca stream of abuse
a flow of money into a businessa revenue stream
British any of several parallel classes of schoolchildren, or divisions of children within a class, grouped together because of similar ability
go with the stream or drift with the stream to conform to the accepted standards
off stream (of an industrial plant, manufacturing process, etc) shut down or not in production
on stream
  1. (of an industrial plant, manufacturing process, etc) in or about to go into operation or production
  2. available or in existence


to emit or be emitted in a continuous flowhis nose streamed blood
(intr) to move in unbroken succession, as a crowd of people, vehicles, etc
(intr) to float freely or with a waving motionbunting streamed in the wind
(tr) to unfurl (a flag, etc)
(intr) to move causing a trail of light, condensed gas, etc, as a jet aircraft
(when intr, often foll by for) mining to wash (earth, gravel, etc) in running water in prospecting (for gold, etc), to expose the particles of ore or metal
British education to group or divide (children) in streams
Derived Formsstreamlet, nounstreamlike, adjective

Word Origin for stream

Old English; related to Old Frisian strām, Old Norse straumr, Old High German stroum, Greek rheuma

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 stream
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for stream



A flow of water in a channel or bed, as a brook, rivulet, or small river.
A flow of a watery substance, such as blood in blood vessels or cytoplasm in fungal hyphae, in an organism or in part of an organism.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with stream


see change horses in midstream; swim against the current (stream).

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.