The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Stream \Stream\ (str[=e]m), n. [AS. stre['a]m; akin to OFries.
str[=a]m, OS. str[=o]m, D. stroom, G. strom, OHG. stroum,
str[=u]m, Dan. & Sw. str["o]m, Icel. straumr, Ir. sroth,
Lith. srove, Russ. struia, Gr. "ry`sis a flowing, "rei^n to
flow, Skr. sru. [root]174. Cf. Catarrh, Diarrhea,
1. A current of water or other fluid; a liquid flowing
continuously in a line or course, either on the earth, as
a river, brook, etc., or from a vessel, reservoir, or
fountain; specifically, any course of running water; as,
many streams are blended in the Mississippi; gas and steam
came from the earth in streams; a stream of molten lead
from a furnace; a stream of lava from a volcano.
2. A beam or ray of light. "Sun streams." --Chaucer.
3. Anything issuing or moving with continued succession of
parts; as, a stream of words; a stream of sand. "The
stream of beneficence." --Atterbury. "The stream of
4. A continued current or course; as, a stream of weather.
"The very stream of his life." --Shak.
5. Current; drift; tendency; series of tending or moving
causes; as, the stream of opinions or manners.
Gulf stream. See under Gulf.
Stream anchor, Stream cable. (Naut.) See under Anchor,
Stream ice, blocks of ice floating in a mass together in
some definite direction.
Stream tin, particles or masses of tin ore found in
alluvial ground; -- so called because a stream of water is
the principal agent used in separating the ore from the
sand and gravel.
Stream works (Cornish Mining), a place where an alluvial
deposit of tin ore is worked. --Ure.
To float with the stream, figuratively, to drift with the
current of opinion, custom, etc., so as not to oppose or
Syn: Current; flow; rush; tide; course.
Usage: Stream, Current. These words are often properly
interchangeable; but stream is the broader word,
denoting a prevailing onward course. The stream of the
Mississippi rolls steadily on to the Gulf of Mexico,
but there are reflex currents in it which run for a
while in a contrary direction.