pipe dream(redirected from a pipe-dream)
A dream or idea that is impossible to accomplish. Many say that achieving world peace is a pipe dream because human beings are so flawed in their logic and emotions.
Fig. a wish or an idea that is impossible to achieve or carry out. (From the dreams or visions induced by the smoking of an opium pipe.) Going to the West Indies is a pipe dream. We'll never have enough money. Your hopes of winning a lot of money are just a silly pipe dream.
A fantastic notion or vain hope, as in I'd love to have one home in the mountains and another at the seashore, but that's just a pipe dream . Alluding to the fantasies induced by smoking an opium pipe, this term has been used more loosely since the late 1800s.
a pipe dream
If you describe something that someone wants to do or happen as a pipe dream, you mean that it is not realistic and will probably not happen. Oh, Toddy, it's a pipe dream. The banks won't lend you that sort of money. He said the figures showed that a third runway at the airport remained a pipe dream. Note: This expression refers to the sort of idea that someone is likely to have when they are smoking a drug in a pipe.