Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A quantity of paper, formerly 480 sheets, now 500 sheets or, in a printer's ream, 516 sheets.
  • noun A very large amount.
  • transitive verb To form, shape, taper, or enlarge (a hole or bore, for example) with a reamer or similar implement.
  • transitive verb To remove (material) by this process.
  • transitive verb To squeeze the juice out of (fruit) with a reamer.
  • transitive verb Vulgar Slang To penetrate sexually.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A quantity of paper, consisting, for ordinary writing-paper, of 20 quires of 24 sheets each, or 480 sheets; for some kinds of drawing-paper, of 472 or 500 sheets; for printing-paper, of 21½ quires, or 516 sheets.
  • To cream; mantle; foam; froth.
  • To appear like foam; be fleecy.
  • noun Cream; also, the cream-like froth on ale or other liquor; froth or foam in general.
  • To make wide; widen; extend; extend by stretching; streteh or draw out.
  • Specifically To widen or enlarge by the use of a rotatory cutter: often with out: used especially of a hole or an opening in metal, and most commonly in connection with splayed or funnel-shaped holes.
  • Nautical, toopen (seams) for calking.
  • To leave; quit.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Scot. Cream; also, the cream or froth on ale.
  • noun A bundle, package, or quantity of paper, usually consisting of twenty quires or 480 sheets.
  • noun twenty-one and a half quires. [Eng.] A common practice is now to count five hundred sheets to the ream.
  • transitive verb To bevel out, as the mouth of a hole in wood or metal; in modern usage, to enlarge or dress out, as a hole, with a reamer.
  • transitive verb To stretch out; to draw out into thongs, threads, or filaments.
  • intransitive verb Scot. To cream; to mantle.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Northern England, Scotland To cream; mantle; foam; froth.
  • verb To enlarge a hole, especially using a reamer; to bore a hole wider.
  • verb To shape or form, especially using a reamer.
  • verb To remove (material) by reaming.
  • verb To remove burrs and debris from a freshly bored hole.
  • verb slang To yell at or berate.
  • verb slang, vulgar To sexually penetrate in a rough and painful way, by analogy with definition 1.
  • noun A bundle, package, or quantity of paper, usually containing 500 sheets.
  • noun An abstract large amount of something.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb enlarge with a reamer
  • noun a quantity of paper; 480 or 500 sheets; one ream equals 20 quires
  • verb squeeze the juice out (of a fruit) with a reamer
  • noun a large quantity of written matter
  • verb remove by making a hole or by boring

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English reme, from Old French reime, from Old Spanish resma, from Arabic rizma, bundle, from razama, to bundle; see rzm in Semitic roots.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Possibly from Middle English remen, to make room, variant of rimen, from Old English rȳman; see reuə- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English reme, rem, from Old English rēam ("cream"), from Proto-Germanic *raumaz (“cream”), from Proto-Indo-European *rewǝgh- (“to sour [milk]”). Cognate with Dutch room ("cream, sour cream"), German Rahm ("cream"), Norwegian rømme ("sour cream"), Icelandic rjómi ("cream"). See also ramekin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English remen, rimen, rümen ("to open up"), from Old English rȳman ("to make roomy, extend, widen, spread, enlarge, amplify, prolong, clear, open up, make clear by removing obstructions, to clear a way"), from Proto-Germanic *rūmijanan (“to make roomy, give room, remove”), from Proto-Indo-European *rowǝ- (“free space”). Cognate with Dutch ruimen ("to empty, evacuate"), German räumen ("to make room"), Icelandic rýma ("to make room, clear"). More at room.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English reeme, from Old French raime, rayme ("ream") (French rame), from Arabic رزمة (rizma, "bundle").

Examples

  • My biggest ream is to become a writer or journalist.

    Some Proven English Learning Tips « Articles « Literacy News

  • Detective Thomas Clark said that much paper consumed more than a ream, which is 500 sheets, and doing that paper work took two weeks by itself.

    The Picayune Item Homepage

  • Detective Thomas Clark said that much paper consumed more than a ream, which is 500 sheets, and doing that paper work took two weeks by itself.

    The Picayune Item Homepage

  • You can purchase paper by the sheet or by the ream, which is super handy if you need a ton of paper for a large wedding, or if you just need to see (and smell) the paper in person before purchasing.

    Weddingbee

  • Detective Thomas Clark said that much paper consumed more than a ream, which is 500 sheets, and doing that paper work took two weeks by itself.

    The Picayune Item Homepage

  • Detective Thomas Clark said that much paper consumed more than a ream, which is 500 sheets, and doing that paper work took two weeks by itself.

    The Picayune Item Homepage

  • Your eyes do not deceive you: Those are leather shin guards, and she is obviously the lead in a local burlesque show entitled "Buffy The Vampire Player," about a ragtag ream of rebels that vanquishes the undead through intense field-hockey games.

    GoFugYourself

  • Your eyes do not deceive you: Those are leather shin guards, and she is obviously the lead in a local burlesque show entitled "Buffy The Vampire Player," about a ragtag ream of rebels that vanquishes the undead through intense field-hockey games.

    GoFugYourself

  • Point 2: This story manages to use the terms "ream" in the headline and "tongue-lashing" in the lede, which is creepily Freudian.

    Yahoo! Sports - Top News

  • Now some strings, such as the words "ream" and "reams" have a lot more to do with paper than "icecream."

    Search Engine Optimization and Marketing News provided by Cumbrowski.com

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