Weekly Word Archives

Weekly Word 14 April 2015

Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015)

Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015)

| dri:m |

“You might say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one.”

We all know these lyrics. They come from the world anthem of world peace: John Lennon’s “Imagine”. For nearly 45 years, it has never ceased to inspire us with its message of hope and love. Perhaps today, more than ever, we need the spirit of this beautiful song.

Look at the etymology of “dream”. It says there that it is probably related to the Old English word drēam. Which is defined as “joy” or “music”. We can say, therefore, that a dream is what brings us joy – precisely why we dream of what we dream. It’s a “cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal” – which when we achieve leads to joy.

Some of us dream of fame and success because, for us, they will bring us joy when we become famous or successful (what actually happens once we become famous or success is a different story). Others dream of a better world, a better life for everyone – like John Lennon.

True, dreams are useless without taking the initiative to act towards achieving your dreams. But action is perhaps just half of the story. Without a dream, a vision, an end goal in mind, your actions lack purpose, lack focus, lack direction. What do you want? And what are you willing to do to achieve it?

More importantly, do you dare to dream a dream that includes others in it? Where your dream involves betterment not just for yourself, but for others as well? Do you dare to dream big for your community, your society, your country?




  • a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep
    • [sing.] a state of mind in which someone is or seems to be unaware of their immediate surroundings
  • a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal
    • an unrealistic or self-deluding fantasy
    • a person of thing perceived as wonderful or perfect

verb [past and past participle dreamed or dreamt – no obj.]

  • to experience dreams during sleep
    • [with obj.] to see, hear, or feel sth. in a dream
  • to indulge in daydreams or fantasies about sth. greatly desire
    • [with negative] to contemplate the possibility of doing sth. or that sth. might be the case


Middle English, of Germanic origin, related to Dutch droom and German Traum, and probably also to Old English drēam (“joy”, “music”).

In other languages:

  • Bahasa Indonesia:
    • noun: mimpi
    • verb: bermimpi
  • بهاس ملايو:
    • noun: ميمڤي (mimpi)
    • verb: برميمڤي (bermimpi)
  • Cebuano:
    • noun: damgo
    • verb: magdamgo
  • Deutsch:
    • noun: der Traum
    • verb: träumen (to produce sleep images); fantasieren (aspire)
  • Español:
    • noun: el sueño (sleep image); la ilusión (fantasy); el ideal (aspirations)
    • verb: soñar
  • Filipino:
    • noun: panaginip (sleep image); pangarap (aspirations)
    • verb: managinip (to produce sleep images); mangarap (to aspire)
  • Français:
    • noun: le rêve
    • verb: rêver
  • 한국어:
    • noun: 꿈 (kkum) (sleep image); 포부 (pobu) (aspirations)
    • verb: 꿈을 꾸다 (kkum-eul kuda)
  • Italiano:
    • noun: il sogno
    • verb: sognare
  • ភាសាខ្មែរ:
    • noun: ការយល់សប្ដិ៍ (kar yl sa bd)
    • verb: យល់សប្ដិ៍ (yl sa bd)
  • Latino:
    • noun: somnium (sleep image); imaginatio (aspirations; fantasy)
    • verb: somnio; halucinor (to fantasize)
  • မြန်မာဘာသာ: အိပ်မက် (aiutmaat)
  • 日本語:
    • noun: 夢 (ゆめ) (sleep image); 願事 (ねがいごと) (aspirations)
    • verb: 夢見る (ゆめみる)
  • ພາສາລາວ:
    • noun: ຄວາມຝັນ (khuaamfan)
    • verb: ຝັນ (fan)
  • ภาษาไทย:
    • noun: ความฝัน (khuām f̄ạn) (sleep images); จินตภาพ (cintp̣hāph) (aspirations; fantasy)
    • verb: ฝัน (f̄ạn) (to produce sleep images); จินตนา (cintnā) (to fantasize; to aspire)
  • தமிழ்:
    • noun: கனவு (kaṉavu)
    • verb: கனவு காண் (kaṉavu kā)
  • Tiếng Việt:
    • noun: chiêm baoảo tưởng (fantasy)
    • verb: nằm chiêm bao
  • 中文: 夢 / 梦 (mèng)

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