If you're relaxing on the beach, dreaming of how you will never have to get up and go back to work, you're engaged in a reverie, or pleasant daydream.

There's nothing wrong with reverie, but if you follow its path into English, you'll see how closely it is connected to madness. The noun is from French rĂªverie, from a Middle French word meaning "wild speech, delirium," from rever "to roam, speak wildly." Middle French rever is also the source of English rave, as in raving mad.

Definitions of reverie

n an abstracted state of absorption

a state of mind characterized by abstraction and release from reality
brown study
a state of deep absorption or thoughtfulness
Type of:
abstractedness, abstraction
preoccupation with something to the exclusion of all else

n absentminded dreaming while awake

air castle, castle in Spain, castle in the air, daydream, daydreaming, oneirism, revery
Type of:
dream, dreaming
imaginative thoughts indulged in while awake

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.