pipe dream

a pipe dream

Meaning | Synonyms

  • an impossibility
  • a dream or fantasy
  • something that is unlikely to happen
  • something that will not work
  • a hope, plan or idea that will most likely fail
  • when pigs fly
  • when hell freezes over

Example Sentences

  1. His plans of becoming an astronaut are a pipe dream, he should be more realistic.
  2. She had wanted to be a ballet dancer when she grew up, but as she got older, she realised it was nothing but a pipe dream.
  3. They had wanted to grow the business until it was large enough to employ 100 staff but that was turning into a pipe dream with the economy how it is.
  4. As she bent her head to receive the gold medal, she realised competing for her country in the Olympics was no longer a pipe dream.


This phrase supposedly originates from the fantastical experiences had when smoking an opium pipe. It is used to talk about a vain fantasy, hope or some kind of unreachable wish for the future that is almost impossible to achieve in reality.  It is usually a typically unobtainable task like saying you want to be the king of the world or have a superpower.

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That makes total sense. I have always wondered where that saying came from. This site is fascinating to me. But I’m also someone who loves to know a lot of random things about a lot of random things. LOL 😆

- Krissi May 8, 2020

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Idiom of the Day

take a hike

Meaning: go away

Example: We're all sick of you saying the same things over and over again. Why don't you just take a hike? Read on


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