a thin discharge of the mucous membranes, especially during a cold.
catarrh; cold.

Origin of rheum

1350–1400; Middle English reume < Late Latin rheuma < Greek rheûma (rheu-, variant stem of rheîn to flow, stream + -ma noun suffix of result)
Related formsrheum·ic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for rheum

Historical Examples of rheum

British Dictionary definitions for rheum



a watery discharge from the eyes or nose

Word Origin for rheum

C14: from Old French reume, ultimately from Greek rheuma bodily humour, stream, from rhein to flow
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

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").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

rheum in Medicine




A watery or thin mucous discharge from the eyes or nose.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.