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
- His plans of becoming an astronaut are a pipe dream, he should be more realistic.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.