[ streem ]
See synonyms for stream on
  1. a body of water flowing in a channel or watercourse, as a river, rivulet, or brook.

  2. a steady current in water, as in a river or the ocean: to row against the stream;the Gulf Stream.

  1. any flow of water or other liquid or fluid: streams of blood.

  2. a current or flow of air, gas, or the like.

  3. a beam or trail of light: A stream of moonlight fell from the clouds.

  4. a continuous flow or succession of anything: a stream of words.

  5. prevailing direction; drift: the stream of opinion.

  6. Digital Technology.

    • a flow of data, as an audio broadcast, a movie, or live video, transmitted smoothly and continuously from a source to a computer, mobile device, etc.

verb (used without object)
  1. to flow, pass, or issue in a stream, as water, tears, or blood.

  2. to send forth or throw off a stream; run or flow (often followed by with): eyes streaming with tears.

  1. to extend in a beam or in rays, as light: Sunlight streamed in through the windows.

  2. to move or proceed continuously like a flowing stream, as a procession.

  3. to wave or float outward, as a flag in the wind.

  4. to hang in a loose, flowing manner, as long hair.

verb (used with object)
  1. to send forth or discharge in a stream: The wound streamed blood.

  2. to cause to stream or float outward, as a flag.

  1. Digital Technology.

    • to transfer or transmit (data) in such a way that it is processed in a steady and continuous stream: Internet service providers are talking about setting limits on the amount of data that can be streamed into your home.

  2. Nautical. to place (an object) in the water at the end of a line attached to a vessel.

Idioms about stream

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

Origin of stream

First recorded before 900; Middle English noun streem, streme, Old English strēam; cognate with German Strom, Old Norse straumr; akin to Greek rheîn “to flow”; verb derivative of the noun; see rheum

synonym study For stream

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.

Other words for stream

Other words from stream

  • streamless, adjective
  • streamlike, adjective
  • in·ter·stream, adjective
  • outstream, verb (used with object)
  • un·der·stream, noun

Words that may be confused with stream Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use stream in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for stream


/ (striːm) /

  1. a small river; brook

  2. any steady flow of water or other fluid

  1. something that resembles a stream in moving continuously in a line or particular direction

  2. a rapid or unbroken flow of speech, etc: a stream of abuse

  3. a flow of money into a business: a revenue stream

  4. British any of several parallel classes of schoolchildren, or divisions of children within a class, grouped together because of similar ability

  5. go with the stream or drift with the stream to conform to the accepted standards

  6. off stream (of an industrial plant, manufacturing process, etc) shut down or not in production

  7. on stream

    • (of an industrial plant, manufacturing process, etc) in or about to go into operation or production

    • available or in existence

  1. to emit or be emitted in a continuous flow: his nose streamed blood

  2. (intr) to move in unbroken succession, as a crowd of people, vehicles, etc

  1. (intr) to float freely or with a waving motion: bunting streamed in the wind

  2. (tr) to unfurl (a flag, etc)

  3. (intr) to move causing a trail of light, condensed gas, etc, as a jet aircraft

  4. (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

  5. British education to group or divide (children) in streams

Origin of stream

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

Derived forms of stream

  • streamlet, noun
  • streamlike, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for stream


[ strēm ]

  1. A flow of water in a channel or bed, as a brook, rivulet, or small river.

  2. 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.

Other 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.