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the American Dream
1. The belief that anyone can succeed (often with an emphasis on material gain) through hard work. The American Dream feels less attainable the more I am crushed by student loans.
2. The achievement of wealth and success. After years of hard work, we finally have a big house and successful careers. We're living the American Dream.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
the idealistic notion that Americans are preoccupied with obtaining certain materialistic goals. The American dream of home ownership, a car in the garage, and a chicken in every pot started in the early thirties.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
American dream, the
The image of prosperity, achievable through hard work. A political cliché invoked by candidates, it was used by Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America (1835) but may be even older. In 1975 psychoanalyst David Abrahansen was quoted as saying, “The American dream is in part responsible for a great deal of crime and violence, because people feel that the country owes them not only a living but a good living.” A similar cliché of even less precise definition is the American way, evoking an image of democracy, fairness, and other desirable traits.
See also: American
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer