100 Best Idioms About Dreams

Idioms about dreams are like little nuggets of wisdom packed into a few words. They help us talk about our hopes, fears, and even the impossible things we wish for.

Stick around, and we’ll dive into the fascinating world of dreamy sayings that people use all the time but might not fully understand. Get ready to dream big!

Popular Idioms About Dreams

1. In your dreams

When someone says “in your dreams,” they usually mean that what you’re hoping for is not going to happen. It’s a way to say that your wish or goal is so unlikely it could only happen in a dream.

2. A pipe dream

A pipe dream is an idea that is so unrealistic it’s like a fantasy. People often say this to mean that something is so far-fetched that it probably won’t happen.

3. Dream come true

If something is a “dream come true,” it means that it’s something you’ve wished for and it actually happened. It’s a way to say that you’re really happy about something finally becoming real.

4. Build castles in the air

This idiom means to think up grand, unrealistic plans that are unlikely to happen. It’s like you’re creating imaginary palaces in your mind, but they won’t come true in real life.

5. Pinch me, I’m dreaming

People say this when something amazing happens, and they can’t believe it’s real. It’s like asking someone to pinch you to check if you’re awake or just dreaming.

6. The stuff that dreams are made of

This phrase is used to describe something truly extraordinary. If something is so good that it feels like it came out of a dream, then it’s “the stuff that dreams are made of.

7. Living the dream

This phrase means you’re doing something you’ve always wanted to do. It’s like your dreams have become your real life.

8. Beyond your wildest dreams

If something happens that’s “beyond your wildest dreams,” it means it’s better than anything you could’ve imagined. It’s a way to say something turned out really, really great.

9. Daydream believer

A “daydream believer” is someone who is optimistic and hopeful but maybe a bit unrealistic. It’s like they believe their daydreams could actually come true.

10. Hit the hay

This phrase simply means to go to sleep or go to bed. It comes from the idea that hay was once used for bedding, and people would “hit the hay” when they went to sleep.

11. Sleep on it

When you’re told to “sleep on it,” it means to take some time to think about a decision. The idea is that a night’s sleep will help you make a better choice.

12. Dream up

To “dream up” means to think of an idea or plan. It implies that you used your imagination to come up with something new.

13. A dreamer’s disease

This idiom is used to describe someone who is overly idealistic or always chasing unrealistic goals. It’s like saying that dreaming too much is their problem.

14. A dream within a dream

This phrase is used when something is so surreal or confusing that it feels like you’re in a dream while already dreaming. It adds an extra layer of disbelief or wonder to a situation.

15. Sweet dreams are made of these

This is often used to talk about the good things in life that people wish for or desire. It’s like saying these are the things that make life feel like a dream.

16. Nightmare scenario

A “nightmare scenario” is the worst possible situation you can imagine. It’s like a bad dream you don’t want to happen in real life.

17. Dream big

To “dream big” means to have high hopes and big goals. It encourages you to aim for something great, even if it seems hard to reach.

18. Head in the clouds

If someone says you have your “head in the clouds,” they mean you’re not paying attention to what’s happening around you because you’re lost in your thoughts or dreams.

19. Chasing a dream

This means to go after something you really want, even if it’s hard to get. It’s about pursuing your goals with a lot of effort and passion.

20. Dream the impossible dream

This idiom encourages people to aim for goals that might seem impossible to achieve. It’s about having the courage and determination to try for something big, even when it looks really tough.

Idioms for Hope and Ambition

21. Reach for the stars

This idiom encourages you to aim for big goals and not settle for less. It’s like saying you should shoot for the best things in life, even if they seem hard to get.

22. Sky’s the limit

When people say “the sky’s the limit,” they mean there are no restrictions on what you can achieve. It’s a way to say that you can do anything you set your mind to.

23. Cast in stone

If a plan or decision is “cast in stone,” it can’t be changed. This is often said when people are determined to stick to a goal or vision no matter what.

24. Go the extra mile

This idiom means to make an extra effort to achieve something. It’s like saying if you really want to reach a goal, you’ll need to work harder than everyone else.

25. Grasp at straws

To “grasp at straws” means to try anything to improve a bad situation, even if the chances of success are low. It shows a sense of desperation and a will to not give up.

26. Hold your horses

This means to slow down and be patient. Often used when someone is rushing into something, it advises you to take your time before jumping into a decision or action.

27. Bite off more than you can chew

This idiom warns against taking on tasks or goals that are too big for you to handle. It’s like saying be careful not to overwhelm yourself with too much ambition.

28. Up the ante

To “up the ante” means to increase your efforts or commitment in a situation. It’s often said that you must go beyond your current efforts to achieve a goal.

29. Throw your hat in the ring

This idiom means to enter a competition or take on a challenge. It’s like saying you’re willing to step up and give it a try because you’re hopeful or ambitious.

30. Turn over a new leaf

This means to make a new start or change your behavior for the better. It shows the hope that things can improve if you make a positive change.

31. Jump on the bandwagon

To “jump on the bandwagon” means to join a popular trend or activity. It implies that you’re following a path that many find promising, hoping to benefit from its popularity.

32. On the ball

If you’re “on the ball,” it means you’re alert and focused on your tasks or goals. It’s like saying you’re really paying attention because you’re determined to succeed.

33. Keep your eyes on the prize

This idiom means to stay focused on your goal and not get distracted. It’s a way to say that you should remember what you’re working toward and keep going.

34. The ball is in your court

This means it’s now your turn to take action or make a decision. It’s like saying the opportunity is there; now it’s up to you to make your move.

35. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps

This idiom encourages self-reliance and hard work in improving your life. It implies that you have the power to better your own situation, even if it’s difficult.

36. Play your cards right

This means to act wisely to achieve a specific goal. It’s like saying if you make smart choices, you can get what you want.

37. Strike while the iron is hot

This idiom advises you to act quickly when an opportunity presents itself. It’s like saying don’t wait too long to go after something you want because the chance might pass.

38. Get the ball rolling

To “get the ball rolling” means to start something, often something big or important. It’s a way to say that you must take the first step to set things in motion.

39. A golden opportunity

This is a chance that is too good to miss, often one that will bring great rewards. It’s like saying this is a special moment where success is almost certain if you grab it.

40. Burning bridges

This idiom warns against ruining relationships or chances that you might need later. It advises you to be cautious in your actions, especially if you’re ambitiously moving forward.

Negative or Warning Idioms

41. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch

This idiom warns you not to assume that your plans or dreams will come true before they actually do. It’s like saying, don’t celebrate too early because things might not go the way you expect.

42. Read the riot act

This means to scold strongly or warn someone. In the context of dreams, it could mean that someone might warn you about the risks or challenges involved, which is worth listening to.

43. A fool and his money are soon parted

This idiom warns that if you’re not careful with your resources, you can easily lose them. When you’re chasing a dream, be smart about how you use your time and money.

44. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

This means you shouldn’t focus all your hopes and resources on one dream or goal. Spreading out your efforts can save you from total failure if one dream doesn’t work out.

45. A leopard can’t change its spots

This idiom warns that people can’t easily change their nature. If you’re dreaming of becoming something very different, remember that changing who you are deep down can be really hard.

46. A watched pot never boils

This idiom warns against being too anxious or impatient while waiting for your dreams to come true. Sometimes, things take time and stressing won’t make it happen faster.

47. Cut your coat according to your cloth

This means you should only dream as big as your resources allow. If you dream too big without having what you need to achieve it, you could end up failing.

48. Cross that bridge when you come to it

This warns you not to worry too much about future problems or obstacles in your dream until you actually face them. Overthinking can stop you from even starting.

49. Don’t bite off more than you can chew

This idiom advises against taking on a bigger dream or task than you can handle. Know your limits to avoid overwhelming yourself.

50. All that glitters is not gold

This warns that just because something looks good, it might not be. When dreaming or planning, be sure you’re not being fooled by something that’s actually not great.

51. The grass is always greener on the other side

This idiom warns you not to assume that other people’s dreams or lives are better than yours. Sometimes, things aren’t as perfect as they look.

52.  Out of the frying pan and into the fire

This warns that in trying to escape one problem, you may encounter an even worse one. Be cautious when following a dream to avoid jumping from one bad situation into another.

53. Don’t cry over spilled milk

This idiom means once something is done, it can’t be undone. If a dream doesn’t work out, dwelling on it won’t help; it’s better to move on.

54. You can’t have your cake and eat it too

This warns that you can’t have everything you want. Sometimes, you have to give up one dream to pursue another.

55. Too many cooks spoil the broth

This means that too many people trying to manage a situation can ruin it. When you’re working on a dream, be cautious about involving too many people with different opinions.

56. Rome wasn’t built in a day

This warns that great dreams take time to achieve. Don’t expect instant success; be patient and persistent.

57.  Don’t put the cart before the horse

This means you shouldn’t do things in the wrong order. If you have a dream, plan carefully and take steps in the right sequence for the best chance at success.

58. Burn your bridges

This idiom warns against cutting off relationships or opportunities you might need later. If your current dream doesn’t work out, you don’t want to be left with no options.

59. Throwing good money after bad

This warns against continuing to invest in a dream or project that’s clearly failing. Know when to cut your losses and move on.

60. Closing the barn door after the horse has bolted

This idiom means it’s pointless to take precautions after a disaster has occurred. If your dream has gone wrong, think about how to prevent mistakes in the future rather than dwelling on what you should’ve done.

Idioms for Self-Discovery

61. Finding your sea legs

This idiom means getting used to a new situation or challenge. In the context of dreams, it’s about figuring out what you really want and becoming comfortable in pursuing that dream.

62. Mirror, mirror on the wall

Often cited from fairy tales, this idiom suggests looking for self-reflection. When it comes to dreams, it’s about examining yourself closely to understand what your true desires are.

63. Come into your own

This means to grow into your full potential. Relating to dreams, it’s about discovering what you’re truly capable of and letting that guide your aspirations.

64. Find your footing

This idiom is about becoming more comfortable in what you’re doing. When you’re chasing a dream, it often starts with figuring out how to make the first steps feel less shaky.

65. Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes

This means to consider someone else’s perspective deeply. This idiom could apply to dreams by encouraging you to consider other viewpoints to better understand what you truly want.

66. Dig deep

This means to really look into yourself for more strength or insights. When you’re pursuing a dream, you sometimes have to dig deep to discover your true motivation or passion.

67. Peel back the layers

This means to examine something in detail. In terms of dreams, it suggests that you should explore the different facets of what you want to achieve for greater self-understanding.

68. Take a rain check

This idiom is about postponing a decision or event for a later time. Sometimes, in pursuing your dreams, you discover that the timing isn’t right, and you must reevaluate.

69. Wear your heart on your sleeve

This means to openly show your feelings or thoughts. When it comes to dreams, being open about what you desire can be part of discovering what you truly want.

70. Read between the lines

This idiom means to look for meanings that aren’t obviously stated. When thinking about your dreams, try to understand the deeper motivations or fears that aren’t immediately obvious.

71. Go back to the drawing board

This is about starting over when things don’t work out. In terms of dreams, sometimes you discover that your first idea wasn’t the right fit for you, leading to further self-discovery.

72. Take it with a grain of salt

This means not taking something too seriously or literally. When people give you advice about your dreams, it’s useful to remember this idiom: not all advice will be suited for your personal journey.

73. Eyes are bigger than your stomach

This warns that you may be overestimating what you can handle. When you’re excited about a dream, it’s easy to take on too much at once; this idiom encourages moderation and self-awareness.

74. Go down the rabbit hole

This means entering into a complex or tricky situation. Sometimes, in the quest to fulfill your dreams, you discover complexities about yourself that you didn’t anticipate.

75. Listen to your gut

This encourages you to pay attention to your intuition. Your instincts often tell you valuable information about what dreams are truly important to you.

76. The devil is in the details

This means that the smallest parts of a situation can be the most problematic or important. When planning for a dream, you’ll often discover more about yourself through the little challenges that arise.

77. Burning the candle at both ends

This means overworking yourself and is a caution against losing yourself in the pursuit of your dreams. Self-discovery also includes realizing your limits.

78. Break the mold

This means to do something differently or uniquely compared to others. In the journey toward achieving your dreams, breaking the mold is often part of the process of discovering who you truly are.

79. Through thick and thin

This means to stick with something no matter what. Sometimes, self-discovery in the realm of dreams means persisting despite hardships and learning about your own resilience.

80. Put your nose to the grindstone

This means to work hard and focus. In the process, you often discover what you’re truly passionate about and what you’re willing to endure to achieve your dreams.

Funny or Quirky Idioms

81. Pie in the sky

This idiom refers to something that’s so unrealistic it’s almost laughable. If someone tells you your dream is “pie in the sky,” they’re saying it’s a long shot, and you might want to think twice.

82. Let the cat out of the bag

This idiom means to reveal a secret. When it comes to dreams, sometimes telling people about them can either help or hurt your chances of making them come true.

83. Barking up the wrong tree

This means you’re pursuing a mistaken or misguided course of action. In the context of dreams, it’s like saying, “Hey, maybe that dream of yours isn’t really what you should be focusing on.”

84. Chasing your tail

This refers to wasting time doing something pointless. In terms of dreams, it’s a quirky way to say you might be putting your efforts into something that’s not going to get you where you want to go.

85. Off your rocker

This idiom means that someone is acting crazy or irrational. If people say you’re “off your rocker” for pursuing a certain dream, they’re questioning your judgment, but in a somewhat humorous way.

86. Up the creek without a paddle

This means you’re in a difficult situation without any easy solutions. Sometimes, pursuing a dream might feel like this, especially if you haven’t planned well.

87. When pigs fly

This means something is so unlikely that it will never happen. If someone says you’ll achieve your dreams “when pigs fly,” they don’t believe it will happen.

88. The whole shebang

This means everything that is included in something. If someone asks what your dream includes and says “the whole shebang,” you mean it’s a big, comprehensive dream.

89. An arm and a leg for a dream

This means something is very expensive or costs a lot, either in money, time, or emotional investment. Your dream might cost an arm and a leg in terms of time and effort, so be prepared.

90. Caught between a rock and a hard place

This means being stuck between two equally difficult options. When dreaming big, you might face tough decisions that put you between a rock and a hard place.

91. Kick the bucket

This means to die. In terms of dreams, it’s a humorous reminder to chase your dreams before it’s too late so you don’t “kick the bucket” with regrets.

92. Let your hair down

This means to relax and enjoy yourself. Even while chasing your dreams, it’s important to let your hair down once in a while.

93. Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars

This means that even if you aim really high and don’t quite get there, you’ll still achieve something great. It encourages big dreams and goals, even if they seem far off.

94. A wing and a prayer

Doing something “on a wing and a prayer” means you’re taking a big risk to achieve your dreams. It’s like going into something without a clear plan and just hoping it’ll work out.

95. Putting the cart before the horse

This means doing things in the wrong order. If you start celebrating a dream as if it’s already happened before doing the work, you’re “putting the cart before the horse.

96. Swimming against the tide

This means going against popular opinion or trends. If your dream is something that most people don’t understand or agree with, you’re “swimming against the tide.”

97. Straight from the horse’s mouth

This means getting information from the most reliable source. When it comes to achieving your dreams, it’s best to get advice “straight from the horse’s mouth,” or from someone who really knows what they’re talking about.

98. Missing the boat

This means to miss out on an opportunity. When chasing a dream, you don’t want to “miss the boat” by not taking action when you should.

99. Play your cards right

This means to act wisely to achieve a specific outcome. If you “play your cards right,” you have a better chance of making your dream come true.

100. Casting pearls before swine

This means giving something valuable to someone who can’t appreciate it. In terms of dreams, it reminds us to share our aspirations with people who will truly understand and support us.

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Bea is an editor and writer with a passion for literature and self-improvement. Her ability to combine these two interests enables her to write informative and thought-provoking articles that positively impact society. She enjoys reading stories and listening to music in her spare time.