American dream, the

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.
See also: American, dream

American dream

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.
See also: American, dream

the American dream

COMMON The American dream is the idea that anybody can be successful in life, even if they are born poor. Part of the American dream is building a new business that creates jobs and financial independence.
See also: American, dream

the American dream

the ideal by which equality of opportunity is available to any American, allowing the highest aspirations and goals to be achieved.
See also: American, dream

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
References in periodicals archive ?
In Churchwell's telling, the real American dream, the one she insinuates is worth reclaiming, isn't just a Jeffersonian ideal of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" but the conditions that put the ideal within reach of every citizen: a dream, she says, that is "all but synonymous with social democracy."
Though similar in theme to Fight Club's lamentation on the meaningless void of the American Dream, the second film in Rindge's parables, American Beauty, focuses on a man's journey from death to life through, ironically, his own death.
Non-whites were also more likely than white people to consider homeownership integral to the American dream, the survey said.
Employing the notion of the American Dream, the nation's citizens found a way to interpret themselves, those around them, and the world as a whole.
Adams identifies the American dream as the defining factor of American history: "If America has stood for anything unique in the history of the world, it has been for the American dream, the belief in the common man and the insistence upon having, as far as possible, equal opportunity in every way with the rich one" (123).
American Dream, The One-act drama by Edward ALBEE, published in 1959 (with The Zoo Story) and first produced in 1961.
While it is impossible in a short essay to thoroughly rehearse all of the internal inconsistencies and economic solecisms in The Endangered American Dream, the anti-free-trade screed contained in the early part of the book warrants a brief look because it exemplifies the pseudo-sophisticated reasoning endemic among our industrial-policy mandarins.
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