1 [reem]
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.

1350–1400; Middle English rem(e) < Middle French reime, rame < Spanish rezma < Arabic rizmah bale Unabridged


2 [reem]
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.
to scold or reprimand severely (usually followed by out ).
to cheat; defraud.

1805–15; origin uncertain Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
ream1 (riːm)
1.  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
2.  informal (often plural) a large quantity, esp of written matter: he wrote reams
[C14: from Old French raime, from Spanish rezma, from Arabic rizmah bale]

ream2 (riːm)
1.  to enlarge (a hole) by use of a reamer
2.  (US) to extract (juice) from (a citrus fruit) using a reamer
[C19: perhaps from C14 remen to open up, from Old English rӯman to widen]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1356, from O.Fr. reyme, from Sp. 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 (1470s) suggests a Du. influence (cf. Du. riem), probably during the time of Spanish Hapsburg control of Holland.
Properly, 20 quires or 480 sheets, usually 500 or more to allow for waste. Of paper for printing, 21 and a half quires, or 516 sheets (printers' ream).

"to enlarge a hole," 1815, probably a S.W. England dialect survival from M.E. reme "to make room, open up," from O.E. ryman "widen, extend, enlarge," from P.Gmc. *rumijanan (cf. O.S. rumian, O.N. ryma, O.Fris. rema, O.H.G. rumen "to make room, widen"), from *rumaz "spacious" (see
room). 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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Example sentences
Stents, angioplasties, operations to ream out his carotids and one to install an interior defibrillator.
He must fill out a ream of papers and answer many questions.
He reeled off a ream of statistics to show the scale of the response so far.
It is one thing to herald a presumed crisis, though, and to cite a ream of gloomy statistics.
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