The Bournemouth striker, who recently turned 35, played at the 2010 tournament in South Africa but was overlooked by Roy Hodgson in Brazil four years later.
Despite having played at the top level for nearly two decades, Defoe remains hungry to represent his country on the biggest stage of all.
Defoe told Sky Sports News: "In a World Cup year, you always want to do well for your club because it is based on merit. To get into a squad, you have got to be playing well for your club, it's as simple as that. As a forward, you have got to be scoring goals to get into the squad.
"I think having played in a World Cup, having had that experience, not just the games, the build-up and being at the hotel with the team, just everything involved in being at a World Cup is so special.
"It's the pinnacle and to get the opportunity again would be really special, especially with this group of players. I believe this group have got so much more to offer and so, of course, that's the dream, the dream has not changed since day one to play in a major tournament."
Defoe has won 57 caps for England, scoring 20 goals.