Definition of “stream” - English Dictionary

“stream” in English

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streamnoun [ C ]

uk /striːm/ us /striːm/

stream noun [ C ] (SMALL RIVER)

B1 water that flows naturally along a fixed route formed by a channel cut into rock or ground, usually at ground level:

a mountain stream
underground streams
There's a bubbling stream that flows through their property.

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stream noun [ C ] (CONTINUOUS FLOW)

any current of water or liquid:

the level of cholesterol in your blood stream

the direction in which water is moving:

She stopped rowing and let the boat float with the stream.

B2 a continuous flow of things or people:

There has been a steady stream of phone calls from worried customers.
I had a constant stream of visitors while I was ill.

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stream noun [ C ] (STUDENTS)

UK US track a group of school students with similar ability who are approximately the same age and are taught together:

I'm in the A stream for maths, and the B stream for English.
the top/bottom stream



uk /striːm/ us /striːm/

stream verb (FLOW)

[ I usually + adv/prep ] to flow somewhere or produce liquid, quickly and in large amounts without stopping:

There were tears streaming down his face.
One woman was carried from the scene of the accident with blood streaming from her head.
UK I've got a terrible cold and my nose has been streaming all week.
stream in, out, through, etc.

to move continuously in one direction:

We were all very excited as we streamed out of our final exam.
Officials estimate that 20,000 refugees streamed into the city last week.
His hair streamed out behind him as he rode off.

(Definition of “stream” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“stream” in American English

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streamnoun [ C ]

us /strim/

stream noun [ C ] (SMALL RIVER)

a small river that flows on or below the surface of the ground:

Rivers are wider, deeper, and longer than streams.

stream noun [ C ] (FLOW)

a continuous flow:

The faucet leaked in a steady stream.
An endless stream of traffic clogged the roads today.


us /strim/

stream verb (SEND)

[ T ] to send continuous sound or moving images using computers:

Wi-fi networking allows you to stream music from a PC to the device.

stream verb (FLOW)

[ I ] to move continuously:

Record numbers of applications were streaming into our offices.
Tears streamed down her cheeks.
Sunlight was streaming through the window.

(Definition of “stream” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“stream” in Business English

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uk /striːm/ us

[ C ] FINANCE a regular flow of money:

Utilities have a steady stream of cash coming in from their customers.
Fees for advising on acquisitions represent a large part of big banks' income streams.

[ C, usually singular ] a large number of things or people of a similar type that happen or are seen one after the other:

a/the stream of sth A bankruptcy filing would add to the stream of business failures that have plagued corporate America.
a steady/constant/continuous stream of sth/sb At the moment, we're seeing a steady stream of people in trouble from refinancings.
come on stream

PRODUCTION to start to be used to produce or manufacture something:

New power plants need to come on stream by 2016-17.

streamverb [ T ]


to listen to or watch sound or video on a computer, mobile phone, etc. directly from the internet rather than downloading it and saving it first, or to send sound or video in this way:

stream video/music/files You can now use your home wi-fi wireless network to stream music from your PC.
Streaming channels to individual handsets takes up a lot of network capacity.
Although TV and other video can be streamed over 3G networks, it is not a broadcast technology.

(Definition of “stream” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)