pie in the sky


pie in the sky

Meaning | Synonyms

  • used to portray or refer to something that is lovely to consider however is probably not going to happen
  • a promise of paradise while enduring suffering in life
  • false hope
  • illusion or delusion
  • unrealizable dream
  • fantasy
  • pipe dream
  • daydream
  • reverie
  • mirage
  • castle in the sky

Example Sentences

  1. Her dream of wanting to move to London to become a famous singer is a pie in the sky if you ask me.
  2. My neighbour’s political wish is a pie in the sky.
  3. Dreaming about to move to Canada and own a luxurious house, it’s more like a pie in the sky.
  4. It’s a pie in the sky to think about winning the race with this old car.


This phrase was coined by the Swedish-American activist, Joe Hill in 1911 when criticizing the Salvation Army’s philosophy especially their concentration on saving the souls of the hungry rather than feeding them. He used it in one of his songs while leading a radical labour organization.

The expression was later taken up during the Second World War as it was used to describe elusive happiness in the face of so much death. A Californian newspaper in its November 1939 issue described Washington’s promise to the public about eating solely from war orders as “eating pie from the sky.” Over the years, it has evolved to include the way modern-day pastors treat their followers by teaching them that their reward would be in heaven and long-suffering on earth would pay off soon.

Share your opinions3 Opinions

A more contemporary meaning of “Pie in the sky” follows the optimistic view of reaching for a lofty dream, a worthy intention or desire resulting in an outcome rooted in higher consciousness.

‒ KT Hart May 14, 2022

Not only Joe Hill used this phrase in a song. When Johnny Cash borrowed it for his famous song “(There’ll Be) Pie In The Sky”, he interpreted the words in their positive, Christian meaning.

‒ Martin August 8, 2020

The terms, “pie in the sky,” means something might not happen. It can also mean to describe a plan or an idea.

‒ Charlie May 27, 2020

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