- a standard quantity of paper, consisting of 20 quires or 500 sheets (formerly 480 sheets), or 516 sheets (printer's ream or perfect ream).
- Usually reams. a large quantity: He has written reams of poetry.
Origin of ream1
- 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.
- to scold or reprimand severely (usually followed by out).
- to cheat; defraud.
Origin of ream2
Examples from the Web for reams
Reams of lab results, refill requests, emails, and callbacks pop up continually on the computer screen.How Being a Doctor Became the Most Miserable Profession
April 14, 2014
But reams of data shows that incarceration creates more crime.Are Prisons Bleeding Us Dry?
Sheila A. Bedi
December 1, 2013
Your most grating acquaintance could – and usually would – bombard you with reams of unoriginal drivel at the press of a key.Unconsidered Trifles: Found Comedy in the Age of Social Media
March 30, 2013
There are Halo novels, miniseries, and reams of florid fan-fiction.David Fincher and Conan O’Brien: Halo 4’s Secret Weapons
October 10, 2012
Last Friday morning, reams of documents filled the room-there were more than 800 binders of them packed against one wall alone.Oligarch v. Oligarch: London's Courts Attract Litigious Tycoons
July 23, 2012
He wrote annually reams of the best-intentioned and vapid sermons.The Book of Snobs
William Makepeace Thackeray
But of three reams of paper only thirty-three impressions were won in the end.The Invention of Lithography
Mr Cadell's "People's Editions" exhausted 227,631 reams, or 2848 tons.The Centenary Garland
These reams are compressed, tied up, and sent to the warehouse for sale.
Reams have been written about it, and they leave us none the wiser.Perlycross
R. D. Blackmore
- 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 plural) informal a large quantity, esp of written matterhe wrote reams
- to enlarge (a hole) by use of a reamer
- US to extract (juice) from (a citrus fruit) using a reamer
Word Origin and History for reams
"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.