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Pie In The Sky: Definition, Example Sentences & 14 Useful Synonyms

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What does “Pie In The Sky” mean? Learn the definition, how and when to use the expression “pie in the sky” with useful example sentences and ESL printable infographic.

Pie In The Sky Meaning

Pie In The Sky

What Does “Pie in the Sky” Mean?

The idiom “pie in the sky” describes a plan, hope, idea or suggestion is fanciful but it is unrealistic and very unlikely to actually take place.

Pie in the sky is an American idiom. When used before a noun as a modifier, the phrase is hyphenated as in pie-in-the-sky.

What is Origin of “Pie in the Sky”?

According to Wikipedia, the phrase is originally from the song “The Preacher and the Slave” (1911) by Swedish-American labor activist and songwriter Joe Hill (1879–1915), which he wrote as a parody of the Salvation Army hymn “In the Sweet By-and-By” (published 1868). His lyrics in the parody hymn criticizes the Salvation Army for focusing on people’s salvation rather than on their material needs:

You will eat, bye and bye,

In that glorious land above the sky;

Work and pray, live on hay,

You’ll get pie in the sky when you die.

Example Sentences

  • I was promised the pie in the sky by and by.
  • Building a baseball field downtown is just pie in the sky right now.
  • His dream to become President is just a pie in the sky.
  • He can’t help thinking it’s all just “pie in the sky” talk.
  • Your idea is just pie in the sky.
  • This talk of moving to Australia pie in the sky.
  • Any talk of getting a reasonable response from the terrorists is just pie in the sky.
  • Their ideas about reforming the prison system are just pie in the sky.
  • Do not be deceived into throwing away a decent offer in pursuit of pie in the sky.
  • My neighbour’s political wish is a pie in the sky.
  • His tax talk has gone from irresponsible to pie in the sky.
  • The plan was dismissed by many as pie in the sky.
  • Amazon’s whole strategy was to keep the pie in the sky.
  • We found out that was just pie in the sky.
  • This may sound like pie in the sky, but I don’t think so.
  • I know it sounds like pie in the sky, but why not?
Related  Sweet Idioms: Adding a Touch of Charm to Your Conversations

Other Ways to Say

“Pie in the Sky” Synonyms List

Here is the common list of synonyms for the expression “pie in the sky” with useful example sentences in English:

  • Castle in the air
  • Eggs in moonshine
  • Jam tomorrow
  • Unrealizable dream
  • Pipe dream
  • Figment of imagination
  • Fool’s paradise
  • Head trip
  • Daydream
  • Empty promise
  • End of the rainbow
  • Empty wish
  • Never-never land
  • Cloud cuckoo land

Synonyms for “Pie in the Sky” with Examples

Castle in the air

  • Your scheme is merely a castle in the air.

Eggs in moonshine

  • Hope of a cure is just eggs in moonshine.

Jam tomorrow

  • They refused to settle for a promise of jam tomorrow.

Pipe dream

  • What a pipe dream, we thought, as many children were getting no education at all.

Figment of imagination

  • Mary thought she heard the sound of her front door opening last night but it turned out to be a figment of her imagination.

Fool’s paradise

  • Anyone who thinks there’s an easy solution to the problem is living in a fool’s paradise.


  • Many women daydream about having time to themselves.

Empty promise

  • At the end of the day, such a court judgment basically will remain on paper as an empty promise.

End of the rainbow

  • The promise of a cure — the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow — often makes sensible people do irrational things.

Never-never land

  • We became suspended in some stately never-never land of pleasure, luxury and idleness.

Cloud cuckoo land

  • Anyone who thinks this legislation will be effective is living in cloud cuckoo land.

Unrealizable dream

  • In accordance with my ideal desires, she comes very nearly to realize my unrealizable dream.