dream up(redirected from dream up an idea)
To invent or imagine something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dream" and "up." No, Meredith used to flirt with me all the time—I didn't just dream up her romantic interest in me, I swear! I can't wait to hear the excuse you've dreamed up this time!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
dream something up
Fig. to invent something; to fabricate something. (The something can be the word something.) I don't know what to do, but I'll dream something up. Please dream up a solution for this problem.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Invent, concoct, as in Count on her to dream up some explanation for her absence. This expression replaced the somewhat earlier dream out. [c. 1940]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To concoct something, especially a plan or idea that is viewed as impractical: We dreamed up a plan to take over the company. They dreamed a plan up that would allow them to retire next year. What happens in the book is more magical than anything I could dream up.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.