The Secret Meaning of 60 Common Dreams, According to Experts


It’s not always obvious what your dreams are telling you, but the art (and science) of dream interpretation can set you on the right path. What does it mean when you dream that you can’t find your shoes? What does it mean when you can’t see in your dream? Should you be worried about your marriage if you dreamt about getting a divorce? From endless falling to alien abductions to that common naked-in-a-crowd nightmare, almost all of your dreams can tell you something about yourself that you may not have realized. Read on for the meaning of 60 common dreams and sleep a little more soundly tonight

1 What does it mean when you dream about having an affair?

Couple drinking wine on a date

A dream in which you cheat on your spouse or partner does not necessarily mean that you’re thinking about being unfaithful in real life. According to J.M. DeBord in his book, The Dream Interpretation Dictionary, that dream could be rooted in a broader range of feelings about wanting to escape or try something different. He gives the example that “the thought of quitting your job and living on an island crossed your mind, and the desire is growing in you to actually do it.” Or this dream could represent the idea of jumping into a new artistic project or exploring new intellectual pursuits.

2. What does it mean when you dream that you’re speaking in an accent?

Woman drinking espresso and talking on the phone

If you’ve had a dream where you’re inexplicably speaking with a southern drawl, cockney lilt, or some other accent you don’t naturally have, it could be positive or negative—depending not on the type of accent, but the way people in the dream react to it. DeBord posits that using an accent that draws positive attention could mean you are feeling a sense of “confidence or sophistication” while an accent drawing a negative reply may mean “you feel insecure or persecuted.”

3. What does it mean to have cats in a dream?

Man with beard cuddling grey cat

In The Illustrated Dream DictionaryRussell Grant explains that cats are largely bad omens and may be a sign of deception or disloyalty among those closest to you. A black cat, in particular, may indicate signs of illness to come, “but chase one away and you may get a surprise stroke of good luck.” What did cats do to deserve this??

4. What does it mean to have dogs in a dream?

Young man with beagle puppy on bed

Grant says dogs generally symbolize friends and can indicate good times ahead, but a snarling dog may indicate that someone close to you may not be trustworthy. If a dog actually bites you in the dream, “a so-called friend is up to some trickery which can harm you,” he writes. A barking dog could be a signal of danger on the horizon, potentially legal trouble.

5. What does it mean when you dream about aliens?

UFO in night sky
Marko Aliaksandr/Shutterstock

If you dream about being abducted by aliens (assuming you weren’t actually abducted and tricked into thinking it was a dream), it may mean that you are encountering something in your life that is unfamiliar or even hostile. Craig Hamilton-Parker writes in The Hidden Meaning of Dreams, “Your first step should be to find out what it is and get to know this neglected aspect of yourself. For example, you may be behaving in ways that are ‘alien’ to you or have feelings that are ‘unlike you.'”

6. What does it mean dream about an airport?

Woman standing in front of departures board at airport
Ekaterina Pokrovsky/Shutterstock

Sure, it might be that you are anxious about an upcoming flight, but being at an airport in your dream can also symbolize a time of transition or change. “Airports are points of departure, such as when you’re leaving behind old beliefs or practices or a time of life,” according to DeBord. It could indicate that you are ready for change or start something new. It’s time to take off!

7. What does it mean when you are bald in a dream?

Bald man from behind

Like losing your teeth, losing your hair in a dream (assuming you aren’t already bald) can mean a sense of lost vigor, helplessness, or exposure. But it can also have positive connotations. DeBord explains that baldness “can indicate a clean mind, especially if the head is shiny and spotless.” It may also relate to a sense of conformity, “because hair is a strong visual identifier” and may connect to a sense of losing oneself in a corporate culture or organization.

8. What does it mean when you are playing sports in a dream?

Young women on softball team sitting in dugout

If you are getting athletic in your dream or playing in a competition, it may not mean anything special—if you do those activities in your regular life, that is. But if you don’t regularly participate in sports, it could indicate that you may be pushing yourself in life and must “take care not to overdo things,” according to Grant. It may also mean you are feeling competitive or see rivals in your midst of whom you should be wary.

9. What does it mean if you’re baking or cooking in a dream?

Young woman putting tray of cookies in oven

As with sports, if you’re someone who bakes or cooks a lot in your waking life, doing so in a dream might not mean all that much. But it could have deeper significance otherwise, according to Hamilton-Parker, who says whipping up something in the kitchen in a dream could “represent plans you are nearly ready to put into action.” Baking might even be an indication that you are pregnant or have the urge, whether conscious or not, to conceive.

10. What does it mean when you are wearing armor in a dream?

Close up on knight in armor

As you might expect, armor in a dream indicates that the dreamer is emotionally protecting themselves in their interactions with others. Hamilton-Parker recommends examining from where this need for protection may be originating and what could be fueling this fear. With a little introspection, he suggests, “you may discover you need not be so guarded.”

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