pipe dream

Idioms & Phrases

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® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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