9 Grammatical Pitfalls

pipe dream

any fantastic notion, hope, or story:
Her plans for a movie career are just a pipe dream.
Origin of pipe dream
1895-1900, Americanism


[pahyp-dreem] /ˈpaɪpˌdrim/
verb (used without object), pipe-dreamed or pipe-dreamt, pipe-dreaming.
to indulge in pipe dreams; fantasize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pipe dream
  • We may dismiss it as sci-fi fantasy or a spooky pipe dream, but wearables are here.
  • In this kind of reality, downsizing while maintaining quality is largely a pipe dream.
  • If he's wrong, he could be squandering a brilliant career in cardiology on a pipe dream.
  • It may be a pipe dream, but it is certainly a wonderful one.
  • The doubters conclude from this that solar energy is a pipe dream, hardly worth the effort.
  • And as we've discussed that appears to be a pipe dream.
  • It's a pipe dream, a bill lacks both economic sanity and a chance of receiving a presidential signature.
  • Addressed to the wrong name, before telling her her ambitions were a pipe dream.
  • Effectively fighting aging is also certainly not a pipe dream.
  • Even the primitive spear made the flintlock an unpractical pipe dream.
British Dictionary definitions for pipe dream

pipe dream

a fanciful or impossible plan or hope
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for pipe dream

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
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Slang definitions & phrases for pipe dream

pipe dream

noun phrase

An improbable and visionary hope, ideal, scheme, etc, such as an opium smoker might have: He has some ambitious plans, mostly pipe dreams (1896+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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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 Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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