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

1350–1400; Middle English reume < Late Latin rheuma < Greek rheûma (rheu-, variant stem of rheîn to flow, stream + -ma noun suffix of result)

rheumic, adjective
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World English Dictionary
rheum (ruːm)
a watery discharge from the eyes or nose
[C14: from Old French reume, ultimately from Greek rheuma bodily humour, stream, from rhein to flow]

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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. reume (13c.), from L. rheuma, from Gk. rheuma "stream, current, a flowing," from rhein "to flow," from PIE base *sreu- "to flow" (cf. Skt. sravati "flows," srotah "stream;" Avestan thraotah- "stream, river," O.Pers. rauta "river;" Gk. rheos "a flowing, stream," rhythmos "rhythm,"
rhytos "fluid, liquid;" O.Ir. sruaim, Ir. sruth "stream, river;" Welsh ffrwd "stream;" O.N. straumr, O.E. stream, O.H.G. strom (second element in maelstrom); Lett. strauma "stream, river;" Lith. sraveti "to trickle, ooze;" O.C.S. struja "river," o-strovu "island," lit. "that which is surrounded by a river;" Pol. strumyk "brook").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

rheum (rōōm)
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.
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