Definition of stream in English:


Syllabification: stream
Pronunciation: /strēm


  • 2A continuous flow of liquid, air, or gas: Frank blew out a stream of smoke the blood gushed out in scarlet streams
    More example sentences
    • A stream of liquid pours in through the broken window.
    • As the train jerked forwards it spilt a stream of its yellow liquid onto the carriage floor.
    • He breathed heavily through his nose and accidentally shot a stream of liquid mucus onto the table.
    jet, flow, rush, gush, surge, torrent, flood, cascade, outpouring, outflow
    technical efflux
  • 2.1A mass of people or things moving continuously in the same direction: there is a steady stream of visitors
    More example sentences
    • Off to the west is what was once Legion Avenue, where steady streams of cars and trucks barrel in from the suburbs or head out to them along twin one-way roads given over entirely to traffic.
    • Bicycles were again in the spotlight at a local housing estate last week, which day in, day out plays host to a steady stream of fast moving traffic.
    • There was no far-off hum of constant traffic, no train whistles or car horns, and certainly no distant streams of moving lights from the nearest highway.
  • 2.2A large number of things that happen or come one after the other: a woman screamed a stream of abuse
    More example sentences
    • Any innocent comment that previously would go right over my head and be shrugged off will let forth a stream of abuse.
    • Stocks used to have cash flow - a stream of dividends whose regularity, growth, and quality could be assessed.
    • More than a fifth of the world's population seek their place in the world within a stream of history that flows from the Koran.
    succession, flow, series, string
  • 3 Computing A continuous flow of data or instructions, typically one having a constant or predictable rate.
    More example sentences
    • The neat property of this attack is that the capacity of this storage mechanism scales at exactly the same rate as the data stream's rate does.
    • The receiver separates the electronic program guide data from the input stream.
    • One possibility will be to use compilers to optimise code for a superscalar implementation instead of having the processor work out how to optimise the instruction stream.
  • 3.1A continuous flow of video and audio material transmitted or received over the Internet.
    More example sentences
    • You can either listen to the stream or download the mp3.
    • The body may be a stream of data, a container of nested parts, or an embedded message.
    • This technique recovers the whole data stream, which is then decoded.
  • 4 British term for track1 ( sense 5 of the noun).
    More example sentences
    • Those not in the A stream are taught at a different pace.
    • This means the two streams are often taught different subjects in the same room at the same time.
    • Instead, her IQ of 109 took her to Ryder Brow Secondary Modern, where she was in top streams despite poor attendance.


Back to top  
  • 1 [no object] (Of liquid) run or flow in a continuous current in a specified direction: she sat with tears streaming down her face sunlight streamed through the windows
    More example sentences
    • In spring, I can feel the currents of cool air streaming toward me carrying odors of herbs and roots.
    • I felt drenched, the water was streaming down my face, and my immaculate hair was soaked.
    • Lanette nodded, salty water streaming down her cheeks.
  • 1.1(Of a mass of people or things) move in a continuous flow in a specified direction: he was watching the taxis streaming past
    More example sentences
    • ‘I do not expect to see lines of refuges streaming to the borders,’ said Reams.
    • People are streaming past the windows in both directions.
    • Soon a long line of tractors streamed over the lone bridge connecting Kosovo with Albania.
    pour, surge, charge, flood, swarm, pile, crowd
  • 1.2 (usually be streaming) (Of a person or part of the body) produce a continuous flow of liquid; run with liquid: my eyes were streaming I woke up in the night, streaming with sweat [with object]: his mouth was streaming blood
    More example sentences
    • Cool and feminine in silk and lace, or clad in casual clothes, streaming with sweat today's woman can be beautiful either way.
    • Choking back the bile, eyes streaming with tears, I doused cotton balls and tossed them around the attic.
    • Jolene looked up at Todd, her eyes streaming with tears.
  • 1.3(Of hair, clothing, etc.) float or wave at full extent in the wind: her black cloak streamed behind her
    More example sentences
    • Her hair streamed behind her and fanned out like a cloak and her skirts flew up around her slender legs in a tornado of color.
    • Her long golden hair streamed behind her like a golden flag as they galloped across the plains.
    • Hair streaming in the wind, cloak rippling out behind him and eyes flashing, he bore down upon the fortifications.
    flutter, float, flap, fly, blow, waft, wave
  • 2 [with object] Computing Transmit or receive (data, especially video and audio material) over the Internet as a steady, continuous flow.
    More example sentences
    • During a ground contact event, the payload streams data in real time through a series of software pipes.
    • Data's streaming when it's moving quickly from one piece of hardware to another and doesn't have to be all in one place for the destination device to do something with it.
    • The hacker hopes his move will make content streamed to Media Player more widely available to users of alternative players on non-Windows platforms.
  • 3 British term for track1 ( sense 4 of the verb).
    More example sentences
    • Why should we be so dismissive of the grammar schools selection process when most schools stream students of similar ability for science, maths etc?
    • Donnelly, however, sees no objection to streaming students according to ability and interests, within a school or between schools.
    • Pupils are then streamed in each subject according to their ability and aptitude.


against (or with) the stream

Against (or with) the prevailing view or tendency: a world in which the demand for quality does not run against the stream
More example sentences
  • He was a quick-witted, well-meaning man who went with the stream instead of having the vision and strength of judgment to stand out against it.
  • They cannot help but drift with the stream of success-oriented culture, however unwilling they may be.
  • The conception that a Marxist party has to swim against the stream and to fight against the prevailing forms of consciousness is entirely anathema to them.

on stream

In or into operation or existence; available: more jobs are coming on stream
More example sentences
  • The petroleum company's newbuild pipelayer is expected to come on stream in the fourth quarter of this year.
  • When it came on stream in July 1997, this was the deepest production well in the world


Old English strēam (noun), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch stroom, German Strom, from an Indo-European root shared by Greek rhein 'to flow'.

More definitions of stream

Definition of stream in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day grotesquerie
Pronunciation: grəʊˈtɛskəri
grotesque quality or grotesque things collectively