from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A flow of water in a channel or bed, as a brook, rivulet, or small river.
  • noun A steady current in such a flow of water.
  • noun A steady current of a fluid.
  • noun A large amount or number moving or occurring in steady succession: synonym: flow.
  • noun A trend, course, or drift, as of opinion, thought, or history.
  • noun A beam or ray of light.
  • noun Chiefly British A course of study to which students are tracked.
  • noun Computers A steady flow of data.
  • intransitive verb To flow in a stream or current.
  • intransitive verb To pour forth or give off a stream; flow.
  • intransitive verb To move or arrive in large numbers; pour.
  • intransitive verb To extend, wave, or float outward.
  • intransitive verb To leave a continuous trail of light.
  • intransitive verb To give forth a continuous stream of light rays or beams; shine.
  • intransitive verb To emit, discharge, or exude (a body fluid, for example).
  • intransitive verb Computers To transmit (audio or video content), especially over the Internet, in small, sequential packets that permit the content to be played continuously as it is being received and without saving it to a hard disk.
  • idiom (on stream) In or into operation or production.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A course of running water; a river, rivulet, or brook.
  • noun A steady current in a river or in the sea; especially, the middle or most rapid part of a current or tide: as, to row against the stream; the Gulf Stream.
  • noun A flow; a flowing; that which flows in or out, as a liquid or a fluid, air or light.
  • noun Anything issuing from a source and moving or flowing continuously: as, a stream of words; a stream of sand; a stream of people.
  • noun A continued course or current; the course or current of affairs or events; current; drift.
  • noun A rift: so called by English anglers.
  • noun Synonyms and
  • noun Stream, Current, Eddy. All rivers and brooks are streams, and have currents. An eddy is a counter-current, a current contrary to the main direction.
  • To move or run in a continuous current; flow continuously. See streaming, n., 2.
  • To move or proceed continuously and uniformly, or in unbroken succession.
  • To pour out a stream; also, to throw off a stream from the surface: as, streaming eyes; a streaming umbrella.
  • To move swiftly and continuously, as a ray of light; streak.
  • To stretch out in a line; hang or float at full length: as, streaming hair.
  • To discharge in a stream; cause to flow; pour out.
  • To cause to float out; wave.
  • To stripe or ray. See streaming, a.
  • In mining, to wash, as the superficial detritus, especially that accumulated in the beds of rivers, for the purpose of separating any valuable ore which it may contain. See placer.
  • In dyeing, to wash in running water, as silk, before putting in the dye.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A current of water or other fluid; a liquid flowing continuously in a line or course, either on the earth, as a river, brook, etc., or from a vessel, reservoir, or fountain; specifically, any course of running water
  • noun A beam or ray of light.
  • noun Anything issuing or moving with continued succession of parts.
  • noun A continued current or course.
  • noun Current; drift; tendency; series of tending or moving causes.
  • noun See under Gulf.
  • noun (Naut.) See under Anchor, and Cable.
  • noun blocks of ice floating in a mass together in some definite direction.
  • noun particles or masses of tin ore found in alluvial ground; -- so called because a stream of water is the principal agent used in separating the ore from the sand and gravel.
  • noun (Cornish Mining) a place where an alluvial deposit of tin ore is worked.
  • noun figuratively, to drift with the current of opinion, custom, etc., so as not to oppose or check it.
  • transitive verb To send forth in a current or stream; to cause to flow; to pour.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English streme, from Old English strēam; see sreu- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English streem, strem, from Old English strēam ("a stream, current, flowing water; flood"), from Proto-Germanic *straumaz (“stream”), from Proto-Indo-European *srowmos (“river”), from Proto-Indo-European *srew- (“to flow”). Cognate with Scots strem, streme, streym ("stream, river"), North Frisian strum ("stream"), West Frisian stream ("stream"), Dutch stroom ("current, flow, stream"), German Strom ("current, stream"), Danish strøm ("current, stream, flow"), Swedish ström ("current, stream, flow"), Icelandic straumur ("current, stream, torrent, flood"), Ancient Greek ῥεῦμα (rheuma, "stream, flow"), Lithuanian srovė ("current, stream").


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