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[reem] /rim/
verb (used with object)
to enlarge to desired size (a previously bored hole) by means of a reamer.
to clear with a reamer; remove or press out by reaming.
to extract the juice from:
to ream an orange.
  1. to scold or reprimand severely (usually followed by out).
  2. to cheat; defraud.
Origin of ream2
First recorded in 1805-15; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for reaming
Historical Examples
  • Small holes are often finished in the lathe by drilling and reaming without the use of a boring tool.

    Turning and Boring Franklin D. Jones
  • Fig. 11 shows how a taper hole is bored in an engine piston-head, preparatory to reaming.

    Turning and Boring Franklin D. Jones
  • The lathe is run very slowly for reaming and the reamer is fed into the work by feeding out the tailstock spindle.

    Turning and Boring Franklin D. Jones
  • Babbitt metal is also worked dry, ordinarily, although kerosene or turpentine is sometimes used when boring or reaming.

    Turning and Boring Franklin D. Jones
  • In reaming, a hole is drilled about 1⁄32 inch smaller than is required, and is enlarged with a cutting tool known as the reamer.

    Aviation Engines

    Victor Wilfred Pag
  • The hole should be bored slightly less than the finish size to allow for reaming.

    Turning and Boring Franklin D. Jones
  • It is also a well known fact that the process of reaming by hand is not a difficult or a slow one.

  • Young Lieutenant Blood was to his feet holding a reaming glass high as his head.

    Heralds of Empire

    Agnes C. Laut
British Dictionary definitions for reaming


a number of sheets of paper, formerly 480 sheets (short ream), now 500 sheets (long ream) or 516 sheets (printer's ream or perfect ream). One ream is equal to 20 quires
(often pl) (informal) a large quantity, esp of written matter: he wrote reams
Word Origin
C14: from Old French raime, from Spanish rezma, from Arabic rizmah bale


verb (transitive)
to enlarge (a hole) by use of a reamer
(US) to extract (juice) from (a citrus fruit) using a reamer
Word Origin
C19: perhaps from C14 remen to open up, from Old English rӯman to widen
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for reaming



"cream" (obsolete), Old English ream, from Proto-Germanic *raumoz (cf. Middle Dutch and Dutch room, German Rahm), of uncertain origin.



measure of paper, mid-14c., from Old French reyme, from Spanish resma, from Arabic rizmah "bundle" (of paper), from rasama "collect into a bundle." The Moors brought manufacture of cotton paper to Spain.

Early variant rym (late 15c.) suggests a Dutch influence (cf. Dutch riem), probably borrowed from Spanish during the time of Hapsburg control of Holland. For ordinary writing paper, 20 quires of 24 sheets each, or 480 sheets; often 500 or more to allow for waste; slightly different numbers for drawing or printing paper.



"to enlarge a hole," 1815, probably a southwest England dialectal survival from Middle English reme "to make room, open up," from Old English ryman "widen, extend, enlarge," from Proto-Germanic *rumijanan (cf. Old Saxon rumian, Old Norse ryma, Old Frisian rema, Old High German rumen "to make room, widen"), from *rumaz "spacious" (see room (n.)). Slang meaning "to cheat, swindle" first recorded 1914; anal sex sense is from 1942. To ream (someone) out "scold, reprimand" is recorded from 1950.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for reaming



  1. (also rim) To cheat; swindle, esp by unfair business practice; screw: A new technique for reaming the customers (1914+)
  2. (also ream out) To rebuke harshly; bawl someone out, chew someone out: I've seen him just ream guys out for not getting the job done (WWII armed forces)
  3. (also rim) To stimulate the anus, either orally or with the penis (1942+ Homosexuals)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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