- a thin discharge of the mucous membranes, especially during a cold.
- catarrh; cold.
Origin of rheum
Examples from the Web for rheum
Our young Princess says her husband has a rheum in his eyes.The Memoirs of the Louis XIV. and The Regency, Complete
Elizabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse d'Orleans
But, pray where is the man who is always suffering from a rheum?The Memoires of Casanova, Complete
Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
Here once more he wiped away the rheum, with every appearance of regret and sorrow.The Black Prophet: A Tale Of Irish Famine
Tears of emotion actually filled her eyes and mingled with the rheum of her cold.By the Light of the Soul
Mary E. Wilkins Freeman
The rheum still, sir, nothing else; I should be well seasoned, for mine eyes lie in brine.
- a watery discharge from the eyes or nose
Word Origin and History for rheum
"mucous discharge," late 14c., from Old French reume "a cold" (13c., Modern French rhume), from Latin rheuma, from Greek rheuma "discharge from the body, flux; a stream, current, flood, a flowing," literally "that which flows," from rhein "to flow," from PIE root *sreu- "to flow" (cf. Sanskrit sravati "flows," srotah "stream;" Avestan thraotah- "stream, river," Old Persian rauta "river;" Greek rheos "a flowing, stream," rhythmos "rhythm," rhytos "fluid, liquid;" Old Irish sruaim, Irish sruth "stream, river;" Welsh ffrwd "stream;" Old Norse straumr, Old English stream, Old High German strom (second element in maelstrom); Lettish strauma "stream, river;" Lithuanian sraveti "to trickle, ooze;" Old Church Slavonic struja "river," o-strovu "island," literally "that which is surrounded by a river;" Polish strumień "brook").
- A watery or thin mucous discharge from the eyes or nose.