Recent CLIP-guided 3D optimization methods, such as DreamFields and PureCLIPNeRF, have achieved impressive results in zero-shot text-to-3D synthesis. However, due to scratch training and random initialization without prior knowledge, these methods often fail to generate accurate and faithful 3D structures that conform to the input text. In this paper, we make the first attempt to introduce explicit 3D shape priors into the CLIP-guided 3D optimization process. Specifically, we first generate a high-quality 3D shape from the input text in the text-to-shape stage as a 3D shape prior. We then use it as the initialization of a neural radiance field and optimize it with the full prompt. To address the challenging text-to-shape generation task, we present a simple yet effective approach that directly bridges the text and image modalities with a powerful text-to-image diffusion model. To narrow the style domain gap between the images synthesized by the text-to-image diffusion model and shape renderings used to train the image-to-shape generator, we further propose to jointly optimize a learnable text prompt and fine-tune the text-to-image diffusion model for rendering-style image generation. Our method, Dream3D, is capable of generating imaginative 3D content with superior visual quality and shape accuracy compared to state-of-the-art methods. Our project page is at https://bluestyle97.github.io/dream3d/.